Memory, native to this valley, will spread over it / like a grove, and memory will grow / Into legend, legend into song, song into sacrament. In these lines Wendell Berry, the farmer-poet-philosopher, gives us a vision of the fruit of long and careful work in place. The poem is called Work Song and in it Berry envisions the slow healing of the land he's spent his life farming and at the same time the correspondent growth and flourishing of culture. We find in the farmer-poet's words a description of the soul of culture--born of memory that grows into legend, story, song and finally that most excellent work of culture: liturgy and sacrament.
Denver Faith and Culture Meeting means just that--faith and culture, meeting--and in this meeting, carried on the memory and language of persons in friendship and conversation, faith finds incarnate form and culture is animated by that which converts and heightens material loam into sacrament. My hope for this meeting is that we would in ways spiritual, intellectual, and social participate in this process whereby culture becomes inhabited by faith and faith enfleshed in culture.
In many ways, at the center of this conversion-point of faith in culture is the Church. And yet, we are divided. And our work in the world is frustrated by this fragmentation. Our Lord prayed that we would be one as he is one with Father, i.e. in perfect unity. And Christ linked the effectiveness of our witness to our oneness. The work of the Church is sacramental worship aimed at empowering the faithful in this witness, itself, ordered toward the evangelization of culture.
And it is here, at the intersection of faith and culture in cross section with Church's witness in unity that this meeting is located and oriented.