A First Monday Lecture with Adria Gulizia
As Friends, we often say that "we are all ministers," but too rarely do we prepare ourselves to recognize, welcome, and nurture gifts of ministry among us. This First Monday Lecture invites Friends to do just that through an exploration of spiritual gifts.
Spiritual gifts are the variety of ways that we are divinely empowered to enact God's will in the world. These gifts aren't rewards for good behavior or badges of honor. Instead, they are a gift of God's grace poured out, unearned, for the building of the Kingdom of Heaven. But there is a paradox in spiritual gifting, just as there is in the idea that "we are all ministers": although the Spirit showers these gifts universally, each one is distinct.
If we are not aware of the reality that gifts of the Spirit show up differently in different people, we will naturally tend to measure others' faithfulness by how closely their actions align with our own - not realizing, for example, that the faithful exercise of a shepherding gift, with its focus on building loving community, will never look like the faithful exercise of a prophetic gift, which courageously calls the community out of complacency and back to faithfulness. Instead, the Friend with the prophetic gift will see the shepherd as too invested in the status quo to follow God's call, while the Friend with the shepherding gift will see the prophet as angry, disruptive, and toxic to the community. Only by understanding the nature of spiritual gifts can we appreciate that none of us can see God's will in full. Only by coming together in our differences and creating spaces in which all gifts are welcome can our life together be a testimony to God's wisdom, God's righteousness, and - most of all - God's love.
Join us as we explore the connection between spiritual gifts and ministry, reflect on how spiritual gifts function in community, and celebrate what the Spirit is doing in each of us and in each other.
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