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What is Embodiment?

By Julie Bock, President of the Congregation

Per Google (always an authority, right?) the definition of Embodiment is ‘’the representation or expression of something in a tangible or visible form.’’ This time, I believe Google-fu was correct. Synonyms would include personification, representation, and  manifestation.

Poetry says: Flowers embody Spring.
Art states: He embodies beauty.
Social Justice quotes: Zie is the embodiment of courage.
Folklore pronounces: Witches embody evil.

I have heard pronouncements like this all my life, I bet you have as well. I cringe almost every time I hear them as I perceive them to often be said lightly and in passing without acknowledging the generalizations behind the statement. Certainly, not recognizing the deep transformational task of embodying something, much less the profound personal change required in the embodiment.

As we have looked at our thematic journey this Spring from Identity to Risk and from Transformation to Embodiment we see we  are working towards a larger goal. Something that affects the collective ‘we’ as well as the singular ‘me.’ It is about who we are, what we risk in our journey of self-becoming, how does it change us, and consequently how do we emerge as changed individuals being our authentic selves? This year First Church has offered us many opportunities to explore and take risks; to embrace the change that our settled new Senior Minster brings to our 175-year-old congregation. We are birthing ourselves, singly and collectively, anew.

There are opportunities galore to embody this change, from service for the congregational whole and our community at large to self-exploration through small group and member ministries. All the while we are held, and hold each other, in the gentle embrace of a community that accepts us, loves us and rejoices in our growth. We are truly blessed.

Julie Bock
President of the Congregation, 2016-2017

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