Adaptive Challenge?

During discussions about the future of the United Methodist Church, including the Call to Action and the Global Leadership Summit, there’s been much discussion of the “adaptive challenge” facing us. But official presentations go on to say that we know exactly how to meet that adaptive challenge. So here’s an alternative perspective of poetry, not brute force, for us to consider…

You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.

-T S Eliot, “East Coker,” Four Quartets

Image of St Michael’s Church, East Coker, © copyright Mike Searle and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Image of Lychgate East Coker Cemetery © copyright Sarah Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

About expatminister

Aren't we what we repeatedly love? My wife, being GeekDad to the 4 superkids, United Methodist pastoring, Texas, science fiction and other nerdy pursuits, words (speaking, listening, writing, reading), Britain, music, camping, tech, baseball, practicing theology. Jesus. Coffee.


  1. Cynthia B. Astle, OSL says:

    WOW! How excellent is this for our time? Thanks for being alert to this alternative and for sharing it with us!

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