Leonard: A new column focused on questions of faith and spirituality (column) | VailDaily.com

Leonard: A new column focused on questions of faith and spirituality (column)

Scott Leonard
Valley Voices

A few years ago, after having many conversations with a few friends where we kicked around all sorts of questions on various topics about faith, one of my friends told me that I should start writing a column in the Vail Daily. I loved the idea, but it also got me really nervous. It's one thing to talk with friends; it's quite different to put them in our small town's only paper.

As luck would have it (or maybe God's providence), a few months ago I was at a party and got into a conversation with someone from the Daily. They told me that they were making some changes to the Sunday column and asked if I would be interested. I gladly accepted the offer and truly look forward to sharing some thoughts on a monthly basis. A few of my friends will be doing the same, and we hope that you enjoy what we write.

Before I jump into my articles, I feel it pertinent to tell you a little about myself and what I do now. I was born at a young age in Texas and can maneuver quite well in the roundabouts. My wife and I have been married for 15 years, and we have three kids.

We came to the valley 13 years ago for me to officiate a wedding and, essentially, went home with an unexpected job offer to be the middle and high school pastor at a local church. It was late August: The temperature in Fort Worth, Texas, was 105 when we took off and 79 when we landed in Eagle-Vail.

As you might guess, it wasn't very hard to convince us to move. At that time, I had been on staff with Young Life in Dallas for a few years and then worked with high school students at a church in Fort Worth for a few years. The position was right up my alley.

Since then, I've been on Young Life staff here in the valley, taught Bible at Vail Christian High School and lead a young adults group called "Uncharted" at our church. Currently, I work as a chaplain for the Vail Valley with a group called Search. Search is a national organization that has chaplains in 30 cities around the country who provide places for people to have conversations about spiritual matters.

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We believe that questions deserve answers, and our approach is a very relational one. Search was started more than 40 years ago, and what they've found is that people really do want to talk about spiritual matters but don't know many people who have training in that area or are scared they'll be judged for their lack of knowledge on the subject. Our goal is to explore answers and invite conversations with people from all walks of life and beliefs in a very relational way. People love what we do, as do I.

With that in mind, my columns are going to focus on the questions I've been asked the most (as a pastor and Bible teacher) and what I believe are the best answers. I know that there will be many who agree with my views and many who won't. I look forward to hearing from both, and maybe even getting coffee to further the conversation.

Honestly, I really look forward to hearing from people who disagree with me. I love having conversations with people who don't see eye to eye with me because I've spent most of my life in a protective Christian bubble (Baylor University, Dallas Seminary and a few Bible churches) with people who agree with most of what I believe. It has been so fun to hear other viewpoints and simply talk about things that really matter.

Not that I don't like talking about camping trips, SUPs, good trails to ride or how much snow the Farmer's Almanac is predicting for this winter, but to me, the spiritual realm gets neglected way too much. I believe wholeheartedly that God is way more relevant to our daily lives than we could ever imagine and can't wait to create some opportunities to get the chance to talk about Him and hear from you. See you next month.

Scott Leonard is the area director for Search Vail Valley. You can reach him at sleonard@searchnational.org.