2024 PW Synod Mission Project Brochure

March/April 2024
digital edition of Horizons
now available!

March/April 2024
Sacred Spaces

About this issue

In Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Thomas Merton says, "In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and
Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I
loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another
even though we were total strangers. . . . There is no way of telling people that they are all walking
around shining like the sun. Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the
depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their
reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really
are. If only we could see each other that way all the time.”

When reflecting on the theme “Sacred Spaces,” Merton’s epiphany was the first thing that came to my
mind. It expresses how each of us is sacred and infinitely loved by God, how there are parts of us that
even we ourselves will never know. It’s a reminder that we’re all connected, no matter how different
we think we are from one another. And above all, it reminds me that every space—even a busy
shopping district—can be sacred if we shift our attention from the buzz of the many things vying for
our attention to our siblings in Christ who are unknowingly vibrant with God’s light.

In the following pages you’ll encounter writers and artists who recognized God’s light in others—
sometimes in expected places like worship spaces, but also in addiction recovery programs. You’ll
find stories about how people celebrate their identity as beloved children of God, and how they
answer the call to share that love with the world. You’ll also find ways to be in community, creating
sacred spaces to share hopes and fears, joys and concerns. Whether that’s through deeper
engagement with your PW group or attending the 2024 Churchwide Gathering, starting a prison
ministry or ensuring accessibility in your church, know that you are a vital part of God’s creation.

Sharon Dunne Gillies, managing editor