The mission of God in Christ gives shape and substance to the life and work of the Church. (Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), F-1.01).

Any three-dimensional object has shape and substance. We see objects as shapes that have substance–such as a ball (a shape) made of rubber (a substance)–or as substances that have shape–such as milk (a substance) in a glass (a shape). But in truth, whether we see either shape or substance is merely a matter of perspective, and changing our perspective may change what we see. A rubber ball becomes a ballish bit of rubber, and  milk in a glass becomes a glass-shaped cylinder of milk.

I intend this space as a locus for thinking about our perspective on the shape and substance of the life of faith, and for changing that perspective as a way of seeing that life anew. I will post here meditations and poetry about participation in God’s engagement with creation, and the life of faith to which that engagement gives rise. I make no promises of, nor do I have pretensions to, anything like regularity of contribution here. I will add to this lore as the Spirit moves me so to do. I welcome your comments and constructive critique, and I look forward to the experience of meditating together.

Paul K Hooker is Associate Dean of Ministerial Formation and Advanced Studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

I am a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and have served as a parish minister and presbytery executive and stated clerk.

I love poetry, history, family, jazz guitar, and standing in trout streams with a fly rod in my hands.