Rev. Neil Dunnavant

Rev. Neil Dunnavant,
executive pastor

Over 10 years ago David Brooks wrote an amazing essay in the New York Times.  While it was written for the good of our nation, his words of wisdom apply well to our life as a congregation.  I am quoting him here not to suggest we lack these qualities.  Rather, I am affirming that this congregation does behave in a very healthy way that gives us deep roots and prepares us well for our future.


Brooks wrote [and I’ve added parallels]:

“Civility is a tree with deep roots, and without the roots, it can’t last.  So what are those roots?  They are failure, sin, weakness and ignorance.  Every sensible person involved in politics and public life [church life] knows that their work is laced with failure. Every column [newsletter essay], every speech [sermon], every piece of legislation [session action] and every executive decision [Executive Pastor decision] has its own humiliating shortcomings.  There are always arguments you should have made better, implications you should have anticipated, other points of view you should have taken on board.  Moreover,  even if you are at your best, your efforts will be laced with failure. The world is more complicated than any human intelligence can comprehend.”


I am so very grateful to you all for being able to serve this congregation which values humility, fresh starts, the benefit of the doubt, forgiveness, understanding, gratitude, human limitations,  and all the Fruits of the Spirit.  Amen.