Innovative Church


Ad Sum, a Latin phrase for “I am present”, is generally used in response to a roll call. In these chaotic times, where a mean-spirited culture is changing us (unbeknown to us) analogous to placing a live lobster in a pot turning up the temperature slowly until the lobster is dinner. Globally, we are being “cooked”; we appear to believe this negativity with rhetoric so inflamed, it leads to physical and violence.

There is agreement that “something needs to be done”, but specifics rarely arise. Rarely does a solution arise with associated action. The hypocrisy of culture-blaming allowing us to unconsciously adopt its behavior, language and violent rhetoric and action causing us to become what we hate.

The time is now. We remain focused on the symptoms as we blame governmental, corporate and faith institutions and their leadership fails to see this tumult through a new lens and not looking at ourselves as change agents. We are looking through a telescope rather than a microscope to find root causes.

The Cosmos births new planets and planetary systems constantly; is this holistic model of growth and change that we, the People of God, need to consider? We rather concentrate on the “micro”, the effects of a broken, dysfunctional system, abdicating our power as individuals to reverse the change by taking personal responsibility and accountability for what we can achieve together.

As history demonstrates, such times occur when a force pushes and pulls us to be in sync with the times. There is an evolution afoot that cannot be ignored; the institutional Catholic Church cannot see this. Where is this evolution taking us; is it challenging us to choose between a culture that stokes rage on all fronts or one that directs efforts to understand, act and heal.

This is a call to engage in a common-sense evolution, one that builds community where life exists. Our souls are dying of malnutrition because our values are scarce. We suggest a form of a DIY (do-it-yourself) project; historically, we chose to finger point, blame and distance reality from ourselves to indict “the other”. If, however, we became counter cultural, change has a chance. It must begin with us.

Technology has become a double-sided coin further distancing us from one another. There is no initiative balancing the gifts of technology with the values of deep relationships. We are now a country with an affliction, a national ADHD problem, calling us in different directions simultaneously creating a sense of being overwhelmed-- pulled by the values of the head vs. values of the heart. Demonstrated by every political specter, we mindlessly repeat points. We are too tired to gain the facts to understand our position and the position of “the other”. We are too depressed with antipathy and too tired to think about doing anything about it.

The time has come to say “Ad Sum”, I am present in search of solutions co-created by faith communities interested in solutions for a new world order with values offering new life for all.

Janet Hauter
Saint Charles, IL

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