This piece is an excerpt from It Is Time Now: Offerings from the Beloved Community Project, an educational resource produced in 2019 as part of Star Island’s Beloved Community Project. The Star Island Beloved Community Project is a journey SIC has begun as an organization to create a more inclusive and intentional community, to help spread more empathy and understanding in the world, and to become a more welcoming place for all people. We recognize and affirm that many have been on this journey for a long time, and we are excited to listen and learn as we continue on this important journey.
I believe in original sin, in the sense that human sinning has no lack of originality and that it is entrenched in institutions and systems.
I believe in original blessing, too, and the power of creativity which builds and strengthens goodness, beauty, harmony and recovery—and the potential for more.
I believe suffering from sin is inescapable for the sinner, and most people experience this in larger measure than appearances suggest.
I believe suffering inflicted upon others by sin is evil incarnated.
I believe responsibility for the pain, injury and trauma inflicted on others by sins committed—and by culpability—requires more spiritual attention and accountability than is commonly given.
I believe in universal salvation, not because a peaceful eternity is easily earned or deserved, but because God’s love is at work and that strong.
I believe in grace.
I believe that grace requires honest confession.
I believe that everyone, yes, everyone, needs more confession and grace.
I believe in prayer.
I believe in the power of penitential prayer.
I believe in the power of righteously angry prayer.
I believe that prayer changes people, or it isn’t prayer at all.
I believe in absolution—in the same way that I believe in reconciliation, forgiveness, and mercy.
I believe absolution requires hard, hard, hard work—the journey of a lifetime.
I believe the past is not changed through absolution, only the future, sometimes the generation to come.
And, I believe being an obstacle or diversion to someone’s absolution path counters God’s work and love.
I believe in Beloved Community, and not just eschatologically.
But, I don’t believe the moral arc of the universe bends towards justice, the peaceable kingdom, or Beloved Community. Though, I would like to.
I hope someday I will.
I believe the curve of the moral arc of the universe is shaped and re-shaped by:
I believe religious communities and their sacred, sacred, sacred places can be reformed so that they remain sanctuaries—though too often of privilege—but also convents for the blessing and absolution path for all.
I believe, this is one way in which Beloved Community becomes.