My housemate has a moustache. It suits him, but it’s unusual to see someone in their 20s wearing such a style. If you ask him about it he’ll shrug and say “I’ve just got to do me”. It’s an authentic expression of himself.
Our cover story this month is a profile of Rev Nadia Bolz-Weber (page ten), the keynote speaker at the Uniting Church women’s conference, UnitingWomen. For obvious reasons I was unable to attend, but the women in my team came back raving about it.
Nadia is a Lutheran minister from Denver, Colorado. She is sharp, eloquent and creative but most of all, she is authentic. Her congregation ministers in innovative ways, like the Blessing of the Bicycles—a day each year they bless implements of human-powered transportation (including crutches and wheelchairs). It’s an authentic expression of that congregation which resonates with the wider community.
Nadia’s style is unapologetic and exciting. It breathes new life into old forms of worship and forges new friendships between people who are radically different to each other. These are things we should also pursue—and we do some of them already—but the point isn’t that Uniting Church folk all need to go out and start sprinkling holy water on bicycles. That’s not necessarily who we are. Would it be an authentic expression of your faith?
Uniting Church President Rev Dr Andrew Dutney says that for whatever reason, we are the kind of church God has decided is best to minister in Australia today. It means we can also be unapologetic about who we are, and we don’t have to mimic others in order to be the church God wants us to be. What is our authentic expression? How do you “do you”?