Liminal Space (August 2021 Newsletter Article)

The word “liminal” comes from the Latin root, “limen,” which means “threshold.” It’s a place where we are in between, crossing over, transitioning.

Not only are we in a liminal space in terms of seasons – transitioning from summer to fall – we are in a liminal space in terms of our COVID practices and mindset. Liminal space, as Richard Rohr puts it, is where we are “betwixt and between the familiar and completely unknown.” Or in simpler terms: it’s a time and place between the “what was” and the “next.” And I have feelings about it!

How about you?

My mind is racing with questions and scenarios as I process the news reports about the Delta variant. What are the implications for my own health, that of my young family, our church, community, and world? As much of our Minnesota communities have been opening back up, I am filled with the rumblings of uncertainty as we look toward the future.

It can feel uncomfortable not to know what is coming next. It can be scary, even.

But sometimes liminal space can also reveal new opportunities for growth, change, and transformation. Rohr says, “[This is] a good space where genuine newness can begin. This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed.”

As a church, our decisions and practices are rooted in our love of God and love of neighbor. And we have a God who loves to dwell in those in-between spaces, calling forth life, goodness, and newness even when we are unsure of the possibilities among us. We are called to do the best that we can, while leaning on God’s grace to carry us through. And perhaps the newer, bigger world that will come out of this will be one of greater safety, inclusion, and wellness for all.

We are people of hope, rooted in the promise of the resurrection, AND we can tell the truth about how hard it is to live in these in-between – liminal times. So, whatever you are feeling these days – hopeful, stressed, excited, fearful, uncertain – there is space for you and the complexity of your emotion. We are here to process with you – in person, over the phone, or online. And we will move forward together, knowing and trusting that God is working for the healing of the world.

In Christ,
Pastor Lindsey Bina