My name is Ian Wrisley. I’m the pastor of the Gunnison Congregational Church. My family and I have lived in the Valley for about seventeen years. My wife and I raised two kids here. I’ve been involved in various ministries, local organizations, the Crested Butte Mountain Theatre, and I’ve worked as a carpenter, as well.
I’m supposed to tell you a little about myself here, so I’ll use this space to describe a few things I value. I’ve noticed that lots of pastors like to say they like strong coﬀee and/or good beer, but I guess that goes without saying.
I tend toward caution when I talk about God — everyone means something a little diﬀerent. Recently, this word, “numinous,” has started showing up in my thinking, my conversation. It means hinting at divinity, and I think that’s a good way to think about all of life. It’s not certainty; it’s not obvious; it’s revelation that suggests. It’s a hint, shadow, a whiﬀ of possibility that leads to the next glimmer, and the next. There’s an emptiness, a presence, a loss and a fullness we all experience, a numinous hint, prompting kindness and generosity.
But not in a gauzy, feel good way. One thing is clear, when you read the gospels or attend to the Christian tradition: we are indeed the keepers of our sisters and brothers. We, as individuals and as a community of holy spirit, find ourselves and find the numinous in others. We’re called by that hint of divinity, by the text and tradition, to serve those who have less than we do, to amplify silenced voices, and (this might be the most important bit) to give away our power to those who are disempowered by the systems of the world. We want to both help those who are hurting and stop what is hurting them. The balance between charity and activism is important. Most churches are great at charity and fearful of activism. I hope we can be a community who strikes that balance.
My life has been nourished. Music, literature, film, myth, religious imagery, science, and family have spoken to me. Christians, Jews, Buddhists, atheists, spiritual-but-not-religious and religious-but-not-spiritual types have been merciful and harsh with me and have drawn me deeper into the numinous. I imagine it’s the same for you. I hope you’ll join us as we explore the mystery at the center of living.