The early church bishop, St. Irenaeus of Lyon (130-202 CE) once famously said, “The glory of God is the human person fully alive.” The first time I ever read that, its truth went through me like lightning. And I have never quite been the same. So much of religion is popularly defined by what we can’t or shouldn’t do. It’s faith through the lens of the negative. But I am energized by a faith in Jesus Christ that encourages full human flourishing. The theory of Original Sin does not have the same potential to transform individuals as the notion of Original Blessing – that before anything else we might be, we are reflections of the very image of God. My ministry at First Congregational Church is guided by this promise of Jesus: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 b) That kind of abundance means a rich, full, equitable, and generous life for all: young and old, male and female, rich and poor, black and white. No matter who you love or how you love, no matter your gender expression, or your physical ability – each and all already reflect the divine image. What might church be like if all God’s people were truly celebrated and given the tools to discover their potential? We’re still working on it, but by the grace of God, you might just find it here at First Congregational Church!