Diversity and learning on our human journey


Boxes can be incredibly useful – when you’re planning a yard sale – but they can be quite restrictive when we allow them to limit our thinking.

So it is with God and so it is with us and others on our human journey.

June is full of yard sales, including St. Andrew’s one on June 17. Yard sales are diverse, as what’s offered reflects people and experiences. Similarly, Pride Month and Indigenous Peoples History Month encourage us to listen to others. They highlight culture and experience.

They’re a way to get people talking – whether over coffee, perhaps on their social media feed, or in their own mind and heart. They may reassure those struggling with feelings of not fitting  – whether by culture, language or gender identity — in that they belong.

In this week’s sermon, Rev. Joanne Lee reflected on the Creator – the life-giving God, whom human language fails to describe accurately, because sometimes language and words can fail to accurately describe something, someone or particularly God. Take God out of the box, the construct that is often conveyed in western art. Instead, let’s begin with words like eternal, loving and inclusive.

As a human creation of this loving Creator, each one of us is  unique, beautiful and valued. Our human journey is an adventure of exploration of discovering who we are and how each of us can make our community and our world more beautiful.

Like a garden, our community doesn’t only function better, but it’s more beautiful when it is diverse. Imagine a garden filled with only one colour of one particular flower. Then reflect on this one.

Many diverse plants grow together and flourish together. So it is with community. We all belong, and each one of us makes it more beautiful. We bring experiences and talents that enrich others we encounter – that’s the bloom of the incredible creative love out of which we were envisioned and created.

So be who you are. As you grow, encourage those around you to express who they are. Listen to the experiences, the songs, the stories of others.

Boxes are for things, not beings. Use your boxes to bring donations for our garage sale ( this week and next, weekdays, 10-3, at Collier United). Open your mind, eyes, ears and heart to the incredible diverse mix of people growing with us in Barrie. And know too the beauty is enhanced when we are all accepted, encouraged and nourished.