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I am sorry that you have joined the bandwagon and decided that "faith" is anathema and uncommunicative. In choosing the name change, you have cut out half the equation of faith and cut our the heart of the matter.

While I am a Christian and a member of a main-line denomination, I agree with all the writers who commented upstream who say that "faith" has nothing to do with religion, organized or not.

Faith has to do with how one understands their place in the universe, their hope, their fears. Faith to a person's sense of purpose and place. As such, faith lives where "being" and "doing" meet. That meeting can look like collision or feel like tension. When "being" and "doing" meet faith happens and it is dynamic.

To be a person of "faith" is to be a person of hope and this is not an easy thing. A person of any faith, must contend with the things that snuff out faith: fear, cynicism, greed, ignorance, to name a few. The things that work against faith may be found in both religious and secular settings because they too are part of what it means to be human. To be a person of faith is to contend with what is worst in us so that we may free and nourish what is best in us.

That means that faith is much more that what we believe or think. It is much more that how we are. Faith is also what we do.

Much of the critique against traditional religions in all their forms is that so often our behavior is contrary to our words and stated beliefs. This is a fair criticism. It is also an obvious one.

Spirituality that does not act, that is neither ethical nor compassionate, is a poor faith indeed. To avoid speaking of faith because we are afraid of the mistakes we might make--that we might be confused with the many who have made mistake and done harm in the name of their faith--is to retreat from the risk of acting for the better. Sooner or later a mature faith requires us to change, which in itself is an act of faith.

Spirituality becomes faith when beliefs and longings become action. When what we sense, or hope for, or pray is translated into change that cause us to act, then we are living our faith. Acting on the change is in itself an act of faith because we never know where it will lead us. Choosing to rise out of privatized belief, choosing to see faith as a gift instead of personal possession, is to move into a life of faith. And it will be public because it will affect our relationships, our work, our creativity. Having faith is by definition risky business.

When prayer, meditation and a sense of inner well-being translate into actions that care for people, cherish our planet and work for justice and integrity, then we are living a life of faith. Where our being affects our doing. Faith made real in such ways is a demonstration of love.

So my disappointment is that choosing to say in "being" sounds beautiful but it is also safe. By reducing faith to an idea we avoid the constant prompting and the disturbing challenge to rise up out of ourselves and step out into this troubled, imperfect and beautiful world in faith.