Our denomination, the United Church of Canada, is doing lots of exciting things and one of them – church-geek drumroll please – is revisiting of Basis of Union, discussing Doctrine and imagining how we might supplement, add or complement the work that has occurred over the intervening 85+ years! This process is formally known as Remit 6.

Doctrine, Basis of Union, and Sacred Scripture, can feel, well dry, overwhelming and boring. But – when approached not as words cemented in stone once written – but windows into a time and context, a flowering of imagining that attempts to use language to point beyond itself and paint an image of God understood in the moment, well it’s almost poetic!

At the most recent gathering of Winnipeg Presbytery, people shared their opinions about this Remit and what struck me most was the discussion about including the Song of Faith: a 10-page poetic expression that developed over several years and was finally approved as a Statement of Faith in 2006. One of the concerns raised was its poetic nature. To this concern, one Brother-in-the-Faith replied that, if we name Sacred Scripture as our textual authority and it is significantly grounded in poetry itself, including a contemporary expression in that same manner feels appropriate.

This got me to thinking during this Lenten journey. And so I thought I would share a piece of poetry that I wrote as my personal Credo in my last year of training as a Deacon. I offer this, therefore, as an expression of words that flow and dance and are open to nuance. Hopefully, in turn, doors are opened for further reflection, as opposed to a trajectory towards absolutes.

Who is God?

God exists pervasively, everywhere, every-when,
The Holy slips through thin places, our thin places
Places that are filled with agenda and distractions.


in moments of Grace,
the ever present
trumpeting whisper of the Creator
can be heard.

The warm of whisper,

The inviting parting of lips,
Pulling apart in an image,
Speaks your, our, my name
With a sigh of Philia,

As the whisper leaves the symbol,

Another is afforded,
that inadequately attempts to illustrate,
what the art can never see,
never comprehend,
never wholly appreciate,
And in that moment,
Spirit is let go.

She dives without gender,

Embraces without question,
Plunges in and out of lives,
Mingling in our joys,
In our sorrows.

He speaks with timbre stillness,

With Soprano eloquence,
Within our horrors,
Perpetuated by choices bent on power,
The Spirit is undeterred,
Vibrantly present,
Grace is afoot.

And there,

In moments of revelation,
Silent awakening,
Christos walks,
Among us,
Within us,
Illustrating the Circle,
The connexion,
Atoms swirl,
Molecules dance,


Words of the First,
Third Person,
All inseparable at the moment of awakening.

Creation is a whole,

There is no division,
There is I,
There is Other,
A coin that mixes images,
One side embraces the other,
Within the dream of the Dreamer.

Who are we?

The Dreamer’s dream,

Those stuck in length, width, and depth,
X, Y, Z
Creatures seeking solace in space-time.
We are embodied beings seeking wholeness,
Struggling with intellect,
And flesh.

Harmony quivers,

As words attempt to articulate,
A reality unbound by syntax,
By grammar.


At first liberating,
Firing synapses to nerve,
Reality becomes larger,

Yet in the moment,

When boundaries seem limitless,
Vulnerability occurs,
Orthodoxy arises,
So symbols intent to free,
To inspire,
To imagine the Dreamer,
Become chains,

What is our task?

To free God,

To free ourselves,
To realise nothing is divisible by itself,
To acknowledge life,
The Quantum,
The Planck Scale,
All point beyond,
To the Infinite.

We are commanded through an open invitation,

We are expected to acknowledge from whence we come,
To appreciate context,
To analyse location,
To question,
To be obedient.

There are always temptations,

Strip down,
Start anew,

This one,

Not that one,
Will cleanse through fire,
And offer insight … truth.

The temptation of convention,

Whether Right or Left.
2000 years+
Genocides committed,
Salvation attained.

2000+ years,

Tears wept,
Celebration attained.

2000+ years,

Mistakes made,
Lessons learned.

Our task is to adapt and acknowledge,

Question and reflect,
Our task is too important to let go,
To acquiesce that which has come before.

Our task is to sit,

To listen,
To pray,
To love.

The rest are just words …