Querying for the New Year
Every Sunday of the world, Galileo Church begins worship with a query. We say, “A query is an old question that people of faith have been asking each other for a long time. A query reminds us to bring our whole selves into this space, all our experiences, all our life. Nothing left outside.”
We rotate through four queries, one per Sunday, a couple of which we copied directly from Quaker practice, a couple of which we modified a bit:
1. How goeth it with thy soul?
2. Where did you see God in the week just past?
3. What is your body saying to your spirit tonight?
4. How are you further along tonight than this time last week?
We take two minutes to process our answers. Some of us talk it over with somebody nearby. Some of us bow our heads and close our eyes. Stephanie strums gentle chords to mute the sounds of talking, whispering, praying.
Some people really hate the Query – they’d rather not think these thoughts, or they’d just like to get out of their own heads for a while. Some people really hate one of the Queries, and when that one comes around every fourth week, they groan. (The one you dislike is somebody else’s favorite, I promise.) Some nights it’s hard to come up with an answer. It’s okay to say, “Huh. I have no idea.” Which is, itself, an important thing to notice.
But mostly, people come to love it. They understand the signal we’re sending – that your experiences, your thoughts, your voice, your not-knowing, are welcome here. All of you is welcome here. In fact, we can’t imagine starting worship without all of you. Get your whole messy, beautiful self in here so we can situate ourselves before our God-Who-Is-Beautiful together.
On New Year’s Eve, I’m thinking these Queries could be s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d to encompass the year we are finishing. It would take more than two minutes, I think, to ask and answer, concerning 2017:
1. How goeth it with my soul at the end of this year?
2. Where did I see God in the year just past?
3. What has my body been saying to my spirit this year?
4. How am I further along at the end of the year than I was at the beginning?
What if you used these Queries as journal prompts for the first couple of weeks of 2018? What if your G-Group took them up as conversation starters for the first month of the year? What if you asked a trusted friend to meet you for Coffee & Queries, and worked through them together?
Oh, here's a thought: What if you thought about how you want to answer these questions at the end of next year, and put practices in place to get you to those answers?
If you try it, let us know how it turns out. We are actually interested in how it goeth with thy soul.