Living Into Spaces of Not-Knowing

By Evin Carvill Ziemer

Evin Carvill-Ziemer holding a door open wearing a robe and stole

Rev. Evin Carvill-Ziemer, CER Congregational Life Staff

Is there uncertainty in your or your congregation? Maybe you’re in search for a new minister or wondering if you’re doing the “right” justice work or don’t know what to do with your building. Perfect. Perfect timing. This is the season of Advent. The time of waiting and emptying and not knowing.

The spiritual lesson of Advent is that the holy to be born in our lives and hearts we must make room. When we are too full of our own certainty and knowledge, there isn’t room for the surprise of the holy.

So, I invite you, in whatever ways you face confusion and uncertainty, to embrace this not-knowing as a time of spiritual growth. This is a good time in the history of the world to strengthen our spiritual muscles for living with uncertainty. Instead of trying to know, try a season of living into the not-knowing.

Times of not knowing invite us to be playful. When everything is possible and little is known for sure, play is one of the only things that makes sense. And, yes, you can and should play in your congregation. Play might look like goofy suggestions for the conundrums facing you. It might look like setting aside the pressure to solve a conflict and finding ways to connect with each other that are enjoyable. Play lets us drop our need to be right or perfect, makes room for things we might call mistakes, and lets us learn far better than anger and blame do.

Advent invites us to live into these spaces of not-knowing. Instead of rushing to find answers, we might look around and see what we think we know, might not be true. Because if we can live into these spaces of not-knowing with awareness, openness, and hope we make space for the unexpected.

Rev. Evin Carvill-Ziemer, CER Congregational Life Staff

About the Author

Evin Carvill Ziemer

Evin serves the Central East Region in the areas of Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, and Intercultural Competency work and as Primary Contact for congregations in upstate and central New York. Evin holds a Masters of Divinity from Earlham School of Religion and Bachelor of Arts from Carleton...

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