Dear Friends,

A month ago one of the members of the presbytery where I serve was featured in a column titled, “Interfaith Voices” of the Democrat Herald, the Albany, Oregon newspaper. The Rev. Diana Vezmar-Bailey spoke of her experiences in the Romanian Orthodox Church of her childhood, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Rev. Diana Vezmar-Bailey

I read her article with interest as I too flirted with different traditions at different times of my life even having helped found a Unitarian Universalist congregation over twenty years ago. Last week I met her for lunch and discovered a person of deep faith who described herself as being “on the fringe.” Over the years I have heard this phrase in confidence from many pastors and church elders who describe a love for their church and tradition and yet yearn for something more life-giving. In Diana’s case it is a yearning for the mystery, beauty and sensuality that she experienced in the Romanian Orthodox Church of her childhood.

Solitude in Death Valley

I am leaving tomorrow for a nine-day Wilderness Quest in Death Valley, California. When I return I will be publishing a written interview with Diana as I probe what her experience tells us about being faithful as Christian communities in this time.

For now, however, please read the column that was published in the Democrat Herald last month.

Link to “Leaving the Church, but not Leaving the Journey”

Until then…wishing you all a healthy, happy and holy Thanksgiving.

Rev. Brian Heron

Spiritual pilgrim and religious innovator

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