Anne Grace Glenn is wife to Rev. Coleman Glenn (a priest in the General Church of the New Jerusalem) and a mom of two. Raised in the Presbyterian Church in Canada, she spent her university years with Catholics and seriously considered becoming a nun and joining the Sisters of Life. She met Coleman at her brother’s wedding (he married a Swedenborgian (New Church) girl), and they spent their courtship 12,516 km/7,777 miles apart, which gave them lots of time to talk. Long theological discussions led Anne to investigate the claims of the New Church and the Writings for herself, and she has embraced them with her whole being. Anne Grace occasionally refers to herself as ‘denominationally challenged’ (she both enjoys the challenges of denominations and is challenged by them), and she has a heart for ecumenism. Her parents are missionaries with OMF (formerly CIM) serving in Singapore. Anne Grace has a BFA from York University with a double major in dance and East Asian history. She spent several years dancing professionally in Toronto, and a year volunteering for OMF in Singapore. In 2012 Anne Grace and Coleman were married in Canada and she moved to Dawson Creek, BC, where they served for 18 months before moving to Westville, South Africa. She has lived in Ontario, British Columbia, Japan, Singapore and South Africa, and embraces both being a TCK (Third-Culture-Kid) and raising TCKs.
View all posts by Anne Grace Glenn →
This term I’m taking the course Doctrine of the Word for my Master of Religious Studies program. It’s a deep dive at the concept of the Word (including spoken, written, Incarnate, revealed) and the purpose of the Word (the means by which the Divine seeks conjunction with humanity). The last couple of weeks we have been looking at the written Word and focusing on the importance and significance of the literal sense. We did an exercise to help us better understand the grand arc of the story of Israel, and another assignment on Scriptural exposition, using some basic guiding principles to help us understand what the Lord might be saying to us through the literal sense.
One of the themes that has continued to emerge for me is the layers of the Word. The stories of the Word are mostly about real people who lived and made choices (good and bad), who had relationships with the the Lord or who rejected Him, and while there is great value in learning from them and their experiences, it is ultimately in seeing ourselves in these stories that we find meaning. The stories are about us as a People and our journey with one another towards the Lord, about us as individuals and our own regeneration, our personal relationship with the Lord, and about the Lord Himself, His glorification, the story of His Humanity and Divinity and the lengths He goes to accommodate Himself to us, to meet us where we are.
These multiple layers of the Word and their meaning are awesome to explore and while they are found in the natural, spiritual and celestial senses of the Word, they are all contained in the literal, in the external. Just by reading the stories with an open heart and mind, we can be led by the Lord to see how the story of Israel from Abram and Sarai to the Exile and Return or the interactions between Jesus and the disciples reveal something about us as a Church, as individuals, and about the Lord Himself.
The Children of Israel left Egypt and were pursued by the Egyptians. When they reached the Red Sea, they were trapped, but the Lord worked a miracle: the sea parted, the people crossed on dry land and the Egyptians couldn’t follow.
“Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.” (Exodus 14:31, NRSV)
“’And they believed’ means faith and trust. This is clear from the meaning of ‘believing’ as possessing faith, and also trust since one who possesses faith also possesses trust. Trust is an attribute of love expressed through faith; consequently trust in Jehovah, that is, in the Lord, does not exist except with those in whom love is present, that is to say, love to the Lord and towards the neighbour; for faith does not reside with any others.” (Arcana Coelestia 8240, Elliot)
Trust, an attribute of love. I have been meditating on this idea this last week, on the relationship between trust and love. Trusting the Lord means loving Him, and both are active choices on my part. Continue reading Trust→
For one of my college classes this year, we were asked to complete a Life Values Inventory at http://www.lifevaluesinventory.org/. This website invites people to reflect on what they value and how they prioritize those values. They define our values as our lens, what we use in order to view ourselves and the world. For my assignment, we needed to complete the inventory and then reflect on how our particular values (our lens, our perspective) influences the way we see the field we are studying.