(Originally published in Beneficent Church’s newsletter, The People’s Times, May 2010).

We need wisdom, not just information. Recently Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave the keynote address at the American Society of News Editors conference. He said that in the 21st century, the world has moved from a situation of relative information scarcity to a situation of information abundance. The way Pastor Nicole and I like to put it is, in the Internet Age, “It’s all out there!”

For us, this means that we focus less on giving expert advice and more on building faithful community. We focus less on imparting knowledge and more on nurturing wisdom. This work requires less Internet searching and more soul searching. It invites us as a community to talk together and listen deeply to each other in respectful, loving ways. We are challenged to work through differences, hear each other’s stories, and discover that our diversity is not a problem to be fixed but an opportunity to be celebrated. Diversity is an opportunity for deepening our understanding, enriching our lives, and developing creative, life-giving solutions to the challenges that face us. In other words, our diversity is an opportunity to practice wisdom.

Proverbs gives God’s wisdom a voice: “The LORD created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago . . . I was beside him like a master worker; and I was his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race” (8:22, 30-31).

This month you will not want to miss the opportunities to celebrate community, diversity, and wisdom at Beneficent Church: International Families Sunday, May 2; Mothers’ Day, May 9; Youth Sunday, May 16; Confirmation Sunday, May 23; and good old-fashioned Memorial Day, May 30. We look forward to seeing you!