The human spirit informs the democratic faith. While the presence of the spirit can't be measured, demonstrable impacts emerge. The movement to abolish slavery, the civil rights movement, the struggle for women's rights, respect for the dignity of immigrants are outward signs of a shared inward presence.
What lifts and focuses that spirit is not within human powers to control. Prayer is a companion practice of leaders invested in change. Anger, humor, curiosity, imagination and a willingness to accept critique are qualities manifest along the way to personal and communal transformation.
Persistence and innovation under pressure define the engagement of the spirit in community transformation
The linkage between Holy Texts and public engagement runs deep.
Sometimes the inspiration is direct - as in the Civil Rights Movement. Sometimes indirect - as a reflection of a fundamental belief in human equality.
The vitality of a faith tradition is tested by how the faithful behave - not what leaders claim, direct, or order.
A tradition that fails to form members in habits and practices consistent with the Holy Texts eventually hollows out to the point of irrelevance.
The life of the congregation -
- not the distant proclamations of hierarchical demand - energizes the renewal and ownership of faith lived out in community.