On 15 February 2020, Karl Möller and Nicki Pennington facilitated a day on loss, transition and the gospel of lament. Taking Psalm 137, arguably one of the most difficult texts of the Old Testament, as the starting point, the day explored lament as:
- honest prayer;
- passionate clinging to God;
- liberating voicing of anger;
- struggle against chaos;
- exposure of violence;
- demand for justice;
- resistance against hopelessness, numbness, voicelessness and dehumanisation;
- a transformative process of empowerment;
- entailing the seeds of hope;
We considered what the process of lament and letting go might have to offer to the church today, as we transition from being a church at the centre to a church on the edge. Reflecting on Isaiah 49:1-6, a text offering hope and a new vision to the people in exile, we explored how loss can turn into a fresh vision and renewed hope, with new opportunities emerging for a church on the edge.
The day ended with an act of worship, which included some prayer stations on loss, struggle, brokenness and exile.