Pastor Pat Bailey: View from the Pulpit

Pastor Pat Bailey in front his church

Pastor Pat Bailey: View from the Pulpit

Pastor Pat Bailey in front his church

Pastor Pat Bailey

At Christ Church we now conduct an adult spiritual education program on Sunday mornings, 8:30-9:30 AM. We enjoy a continental breakfast, one another’s company, and the freedom of open and unfettered discussion.

The materials we are using for our current discussion is the new Living the Questions DVD based program, Painting the Stars. The program celebrates the communion of science and faith and explores the promise of evolutionary Christian spirituality. You can watch a trailer for the program here.

Some of you know I conducted a program at our library last summer about “Evolutionary Consciousness”  which explored how evolution is now the central paradigm for the way we understand everything. Most basic to this evolutionary perspective is that we are moving and changing, always have been, and always will continue to do so. That may sound like I am stating the obvious, but consider that before evolution emerged in our picture of reality, the opposite is what we imagined: the world and everything in it was created exactly as it now is, inhabited by diverse but discrete creatures that functioned according to the design of their maker. The various orders of creation were set and could be breached only by divine action. The telos of creation, that is, its end or completion, was predetermined. Everything was as unalterably fixed as the stars in their orbits around the earth.

The first evolutionary theologian, Teilhard de Chardin, described humanity as occupying two opposing camps: one occupied by those who are now saying, “We are moving; we are going forward” and the other whose occupants obstinately declare, “Nothing changes; we are not moving at all.” The tendency of those in the latter camp, then, is to look to the past for their picture of reality, while those in the former look toward the horizon of our ever-emerging future. I prefer to see the two camps as stations along our way. The old view invites us to ask, “What is it in our reality that is unchanging, uncreated, unrestricted by time and space?” And the new view invites us to ask, “What is it that beckons us toward ever new expressions of creativity and form?”

The “Living the Questions” curriculum is written for progressive Christians and Christian communities who consider, as the name suggests, the questions to be as or more important than the answers. Their latest offering, “Painting the Stars”, is a marvelous exploration of how religious thought and spiritual practice is indeed evolving along with everything else. These are exciting times, not because suddenly everything is moving, but because we can now observe the movement and so broaden our understanding and deepen our consciousness.


Dr. Pat Bailey of Telluride’s Christ Presbyterian Church, is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1987. For 16 years, Pat served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army. He is also an Iraq War veteran. Pastor Pat holds several degrees: a Master of Divinity from Columbia Seminary, a Master of Theology in comparative religion from Emory University, and (recently) a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary. His primary professional interests are interfaith spirituality, evolutionary consciousness, nature spirituality – and accompanying others in spiritual community. To that end, Pastor Pat has been blogging on Telluride Inside… and Out for years. His new series, “View from the Pulpit,” continues weekly.

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