An Essay by Brent Grant to Inspire and Guide Us as We Begin Our 186th of Church Life and Service


In my personal history, several churches before Silverside have been places where rule-bound and belief-bound religion did not exist for me. In all of these places I learned that all people have value and something to say, which helps me understand much.

We joined and attend Silverside because it expands my horizons of understanding, whether they be theological, philosophical, scientific, political, or interpersonal and does it without constraining my thinking through rules and beliefs of ages past.  It was the only church among many in the Wilmington area that seemed to us to welcome thinking beyond narrow horizons. 

Just look around a recent meeting I attended.  Some in attendance expand culinary ideas, others offer new ideas, some have founded museums.  Others have painted murals that represent special times, others expand horizons  through work inside and outside, others deal in music and chemistry, others know finance, some write with clarity, others create collages that express universality, others know how intricate are the ways of an automobile dealership;  there are those who understand the dynamics of traffic flow, while others know what is going on in the pipes of a chemical plant  — each of us having our own horizons. 

That is why I like the lighthouse, stained glass images.  We all need help reaching safe port, but once there have an obligation to help others in peril.

We live in an interdependent world. It is a wonderful world full of special places, many of which are in our own back yard.  It is a world of balance, one force offsetting another, so our sun warms us just so and gravity nudges us in the right ways. All of these things are what the ancients purported were due to many “ultimate forces”.  Depending on location and history, each culture in this world gave diverse meaning to their own “ultimate force” and usually applied rules and beliefs thereto, ending deeper understanding.  

We live in a time when our understandings of so many things are becoming clear, and we try to place those next to traditional rules and beliefs and find our thoughts inadequate.  So we think beyond.   We think beyond the traditional horizon.  We constantly seek to expand our horizons.  We are seekers. We come to Silverside seeking expanded horizons of understanding. 

I like Albert Einstein’s quote, “I am a deeply religious nonbeliever. This is a somewhat new kind of religion.”

Did Jesus expand horizons? Absolutely!!!!!!

Brent Grant