Locals 2007: David Henderson | SteamboatToday.com

Locals 2007: David Henderson

David Henderson
John F. Russell

— Being a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church does not require an Episcopalian past.

And although most denominational churches have open-door policies, St. Paul’s offers even more leniency and flexibility in thought to its members, said Father David Henderson.

Henderson, who has been with the church for more than 14 years, said he tries to deliver that message to his congregation as clearly as possible, especially because modern religion has experienced monumental change in recent decades, often diluting religion’s basic teachings.

“There’s a basic agreement on what is essential in a Christian’s life and faith, and we essentially agree to disagree on non-essentials,” he said.

The essentials include the simplest, basic principles that “we live in creation” and that “God heals humanity,” Henderson said.

Beyond that, members are free to take their own political stances and beliefs that are not essential to being Christian.

Because of the church’s openness, its congregation is a varied and diverse group, he said.

“In some ways, St. Paul’s is a microcosm of the spirituality of this place,” he said. “Not having particular beliefs has enabled the community to really manifest a degree of love and care for one another and the world. We bear each other’s burdens, weep together and rejoice together.”

One of Henderson’s primary messages is to help members of his congregation articulate what is distinct about Christian faith in a world with competing religious views.

“Oftentimes, religion is seen as the human endeavor and the human quest for the divine, but it’s about God coming to humanity,” he said. “To make the Christian tradition more relevant in modern times often causes that message to be lost in translation.”

– Story by Alexis DeLaCruz

Photo By John F. Russell

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