Expressive faith I understand as how we live our faith, the action that it prompts, the faith that we can speak of.
Receptive faith takes us back to ‘grace’ and the simple fact that faith is a gift of God through the Holy Spirit.
Derek - a friend of Maxine and Chris’ - a ‘simple’ faith that was easily recognised by others because of things he did because of his faith. Yet, he was not able to express it theologically. There is a sense that while his faith was expressed, it was done in an instinctive way rather than in a reasoned way.
How then might folk living with dementia ‘receive faith’.
- hearing Bible stories
- being loved in a way that allows them to be themselves (as they are!)
- experiencing beauty
- hearing the stories of others
These things are what should shape the life and activity of a church community anyway.
Important note: As with all that I have identified that seems relevant for those living with dementia, so this is equally applicable to anyone! This reinforces the recurrent message that while people living with dementia need to be treated in an appropriate way, so does everyone and there need be no ‘singling out’ or the creation of special ‘identities’ or groups.