This I Believe

I believe in one holy God,
Creator of all that exists,
who forms and shapes creation in all its diversity
and proclaims all things good, indeed very good.

I believe in Jesus, the Christ,
the unique and passionate child of God,
who embodied God’s fullest intentions for human life;
born of Mary, Jesus shares our life;
baptized as one of us, Jesus walks with us;
giving his life in the service of all,
Jesus proclaimed and embodied the coming reign of God,
living with justice, mercy, and humility;
Jesus reached out to those on the margins of society,
seeking to bring them into the beloved community;
being faithful to God, Jesus angered the powers of the day
and was executed as a common criminal,
but God was not content for evil to have the last word,
raising Jesus from death to life again in the beloved community,
God broke the powers of evil and death,
promising that all things would come under the reign of the Christ
in the fullness of time.

I believe in the Holy Spirit
who calls the Church into being
and gives us the strength and courage
to live as followers of Jesus,
who assures us in the waters of baptism
that death is not the end
and nourishes us for the journey of faith at the table of Christ,
and is moving all things toward the reconciliation God intends.

By Wes Jamison

Rev. Wes Jamison is a minister-at-large (meaning he doesn’t have a call to a specific congregation at this point) for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.  He holds a B.A. in Religion and Journalism from Milligan College and an M.Div. from Emmanuel School of Religion.  Jamison currently serves as National Field Organizer for the Institute for Welcoming Resources, a joint project of the welcoming church programs and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.  He also currently chairs the Open and Affirming Ministries Program for GLAD (Gay, Lesbian, and Affirming Disciples) Alliance.  Jamison lives on a farm near Blacksburg, Virginia.  He has been in the Search and Call process for over four years now and continues to seek a call as a parish minister.

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About origenalheretic

I was born and raised in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia in the heart of Appalachia and I have a passion for the people and culture of my home. I was raised in Barren Springs, a small village near the towns of Wytheville and Hillsville and graduated from New Life Christian Academy in 1996. After graduation I took a gap year and worked as an intern in youth ministry with my home church, Hillsville Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) while taking classes at Wytheville Community College. In the fall of 1997 I left Southwestern Virginia to pursue my education. I graduated in 2001 with a BA in Religion and Journalism from Milligan College in Johnson City, Tennessee. During college I served both the Downtown Christian Church and Beargrass Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as an intern in youth ministry. In May, 2001, I accepted a call to Watauga Avenue Presbyterian Church as Director of Education and Youth. While at WAPC I was active in Holston Presbytery and various community and ecumenical groups. In the fall of 2001, I began seminary and graduated with my Master of Divinity degree in May, 2005, from Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, Tennessee. I was ordained as a minister of Word and Sacrament in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) by the Virginia Region at my home church on June 12, 2005. I accepted a call to serve as the associate pastor for East Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in Grand Rapids, Michigan in May of 2005. I served in that position for one year before it was eliminated due to budgetary issues, leaving me to pursue my writing and to prepare to return to school for a post-graduate degree. Among my many varied interests, I have a passion for spirituality, social justice, and ecumenism. I am committed to including young people in the full life and fellowship of the church, including leadership. I received my CORE certification in youth ministry from Youth Specialties in March, 2004. I am a member of the Association of Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Educators, the Disciples of Christ Historical Society, the Center for Progressive Christianity, and I hold standing with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)and Ordained Ministerial Partner Standing with the United Church of Christ. At this point in my life I have come to terms with my sexuality and I think I have been able to reconcile it with my faith and my calling fairly well. I grew up in a denomination that affirmed me and encouraged me to be who I am as a child of God. I want to do all that I can to help young people accept and affirm the image of God that is within themselves. I am always seeking ways to serve the Church while challenging it to be more inclusive of all God's beloved children. I am currently a minister-at-large, meaning that I do not have a call to a specific congregation at the moment. I am thinking about going back to school to do post-graduate work in the area of sexuality and faith. I am an evangelical liberal. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, hiking, having a good conversation over coffee, frequenting used bookstores, cooking, and listening to music. I am currently writing three books: a book of daily prayer for the Christian year, a book on reconciling faith and sexuality, and a novel about the disillusionment of young adults in their first years after college.

4 thoughts on “This I Believe

  1. “the unique and passionate child of God,
    who embodied God’s fullest intentions for human life;”

    What if Jesus, although an historic figure, was an ideal type in the gospels, created out of a midrash of Jewish tradition, and the hope for an embodiment of the justice that lies therein. That embodiment would be the “coming” of Yahweh’s liberator.

    That arrival has not come to pass in centuries because we are looking for it in the wrong place.

    Liberation does not come from without. And because we are in bondage—to what we can sense, touch, “see” in a temporal, physical world— we remain in chains.

    As long as we can’t see ourselves as being “unique” just like Jesus was, we will stay in our chains.

  2. Jeff,

    You raise some excellent points. Allow me to elaborate? I have always stated and continue to state that I believe we need a higher view of humanity and not a lower view of Jesus. Jesus embodied the fullest intentions of God for humanity and offers us a model for doing the same. Being created in the image of God means that we are filled with the same power to embody God’s fullest intentions for humanity as was Jesus. Through participation in the Body of Christ (the church) and the sacraments and rites of the church, we are grafted into the Body of Christ and become the very Body of Christ in this world, life’s blood poured out for the healing of all. As Jesus was, so we become. We are the continuing presence of the incarnation in this world, the continuing resurrection of Jesus, the Christ.

  3. “A higher view of humanity”

    I was thinking yesterday about God’s statement in the garden that ‘it was not good that the human should be alone.’ What was God saying, except that God, who was then Adam’s one and only companion, was not a adequate companion for the human. What an odd comment – to call into question the quality of God’s companionship? And yet that is exactly what God was saying – and then God set about creating other humans for the explicit purpose of being companions to one another. The text seems to suggest the conclusion that after Adam, humans were not created explicitly to worship or glorify God, or to work or create, or to bear children, etc., but to be companions to one another.

    That led me to conclude that God invested in humans a quality which God did not possess and which God could not assume or adequately express – the ability to be a genuine companion for other humans – apparently genuine companionship is something which only humans can provide to each other.

    From this I interpret that God has a “higher view” of humanity, a view that anticipates that we humans can be with one another and we can provide to one another a kind of fulfillment which even God cannot provide without human assistance.

    In this light “companionship” becomes a divinely ordained responsibility; in the sphere of human life, we humans are the heart, hands, tears and joys for each other that God would be if God could be. We are God’s tears, whether of joy or grief, shared with and shed for each other.

    How blessed is that?


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