In my preacher files, I have a folder entitled “knowledge,” into which I throw articles and thoughts about knowing. I collect ideas about how we as humans build the foundation of knowledge—how do we know what we know? From brain science to the history of language to how community-thinking shapes the bounds of the possible, I love learning about learning, knowledge about knowledge. In philosophy, this line of inquiry is called epistemology.
But as nerdy and meta as this folder can get, there is a much simpler way of knowing: knowing in your body, your heart, your spirit. Sometimes we know what we know from somewhere deep in our core, an awakening that says: this is the truth. It might be a dawning realization about a job, a home, a relationship. It might be a new knowing about yourself.
How do we reconcile the various types of knowing? How do we live in a world in which the knowing of the self is pitted against the knowing of institutions? How do we bridge the divide between subjective and objective knowing? How do we cross the barriers between “my truth” and “the truth” or at least between “my truth” and “a truth we can share”?
These questions are at the heart of our society and its divisions right now. They are also at the heart of our liberal faith tradition which understands religious truth through the lens of contemporary knowledge. While I may not have all the answers, I am determinedly committed to pursuing them, to the best of my ability, in community with you.
May we keep living the truth of learning together.
Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom, Senior Minister