November 16, 2023
Dear Hyde Park Family,
Over the past three Wednesday nights, I have had the fun of teaching a class on the Enneagram, a personality type indicator that guides self-discovery, offers awareness of one’s strengths and shadows, and enhances relationships with others. Every time I offer the class, I learn more about each of the nine types, including greater understanding of my own. (Type 6, in case you are familiar with it.)
With Thanksgiving next week, I have been pondering what each of the nine styles would be most grateful for in their lives, in their relationships, and in their faith. So, I wrote the following as a kind of litany that you might find meaningful, whether or not you know your own Enneagram type.
An Enneagram Thanksgiving
Type 1, The Perfectionist: I am grateful for God’s goodness and righteousness, which enables us to live moral and ethical lives. And I am grateful for God’s forgiveness, which redeems me when I go astray.
Type 2, The Helper: I am grateful for God’s love, which enables me to be generous and self-sacrificial in addressing the needs of others. And I am grateful for how that love is unconditional, which shows me how to love myself.
Type 3, The Performer: I am grateful for God’s excellence, which urges me to offer God my very best, in every aspect of my life. And I am grateful for how God’s is teaching me not to avoid failure, but to embrace it as a teacher and guide.
Type 4, The Artist: I am grateful for God’s beauty all around me, which allows me to transform the hurt and suffering within and around me into something that is exceptional, beautiful, and inspirational to others. And I am grateful for how God is showing me humility, through the example of Jesus.
Type 5, The Thinker: I am grateful for God’s wisdom, which enables me to experience the thrill of discovery through intellect and reason. And I am grateful for how God is helping me to embrace mystery and the unknown, so that I can be more connected to God and others.
Type 6, The Loyalist: I am grateful for God’s commandments, which creates order out of chaos, and aligns me and others to live together as God intends. And I am grateful for how God is helping me to embrace my fears, trust my gut, and take a risk whenever necessary.
Type 7, The Adventurer: I am grateful for God’s joy, which addresses the pain and suffering in my life and others, and helps me to savor all the delights and adventures that are around me. And I am grateful for how God is helping me to acknowledge pain, rather than escape or avoid it.
Type 8, The Leader: I am grateful for God’s power, which is made perfect in my weakness, helps me overcome my limitations, and enables me to empower others. And I am grateful for the gift of repentance and humility, which helps me to live in God’s strength, rather than in denial.
Type 9, The Peacemaker: I am grateful for God’s peace, which seeks the wholeness and health of all creation and within my own self. I am thankful for the harmony of the natural world, and for moments when I feel calm and settled. And I am grateful for times of conflict, which push me and others into new understandings and possibilities for growth.
Most of all, I am grateful for Jesus Christ, who is the perfect reflection of all nine dimensions of humanity, and is the full expression of God’s divinity. In him, and through him, we have all that we need.
And for that, let us be thankful.
Grace and Peace,
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist