Blog Post by
Rev. Dr. Craig M. Howard
I have been doing dream work with my new spiritual director. This means cataloging my dreams by recordings or writing them down in the night or first thing in the morning. Dreams can be elusive. It is difficult to remember them clearly. Some believe this is because the conscious or waking mind doesn’t want to hear or accept what the subconscious is trying to say. Even when a dream can be remembered, it is often difficult to understand. Dreams are layered with meaning. In the book Dream Work, Jeremy Taylor writes, “Why then are dreams generally so obscure and opaque to waking consciousness? It is because every dream has multiple meanings, and multiple levels of meaning woven into a single metaphor of personal experience.”
I imagine there are many people who have dreams of ministry in our presbytery. These dreams are often the result of questions we ask in our waking church life. If you could change one thing about your church, what would it be? If you could help your community in one critical way, what would you do? As you see the needs of people in your world, how can you meet them? These dreams of ministry and service are flashing thoughts that may not fit your current waking world of the church. Yet these are ministries that are answering a real need, and they desire to go from opaque to luminous, from obscure to visible.
You don’t have to be a teaching elder to have a dream. You don’t have to be a leader in the church to imagine a different way of doing ministry, sharing the gospel, or bringing good news to the poor. Your dream could be like Hagar’s Community Church, which was planted inside of a women’s prison in Washington State. Another example is a group that fellowships with students, neighbors, and homeless men and women in Pittsburgh. Still another is a digital ministry in New York State that reaches those who feel outcast or outside of the church. Each of these new worshiping communities began as a dream that didn’t exist in the waking world of ministry. Each now is serving God’s people in the communities where they live.
What is your dream? Why not talk with me or Steven Mathews, chair of New Worshiping Communities Commission? Why not participate in the next Dreaming and Discerning event on October 20? Steve can be reached at Steven Matthews firstname.lastname@example.org. Take the next step to make the dream God has given you into a reality.
Craig M. Howard