Moral Contradictions

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Business as usual

If you walked into the church business meeting last night, you wouldn't realize that the church is in crisis. Observant members know, but are afraid to say anything. As long as the pastor doesn't recognize and direct the church toward solutions, everything's peachy.

What's that saying about a frog in a frying pan?

The bottom is not close - the free fall has just begun, and the landing won't be pretty. Only one person has the ability to work the brakes, but his reality convinces him that this isn't so bad.

Meanwhile, Kristen and I met with the pastor of the church we want to start attending next month. We visited for a few Sundays before this "adventure", and absolutely loved it. The church once boasted the largest Sunday School on the Eastern Seaboard, but nearly closed years after consciously deciding to stay put downtown while 'white flight' took surrounding churches to the suburbs.

We were refreshed to hear a pastor speak of his church with passion and love - he knew what was going on, what would happen in the future, what they desired to see, and who they are. The church has a vision and is actively working toward it. The church was once on the brink of closing, yet has rediscovered it's mission and purpose to its community.

Our senses of justice and mercy will be stimulated as the congregation ranges from the almost-homeless to the fabuously wealthy. A different missions emphasis is presented each month through Sunday services, mission projects, and other venues such as movies or discussions concerning the topic. This month is the horrors going on in Sudan, and the church is helping refugees who have made their way to Richmond.

Much-needed healing will occur through simply just being - by being able to sit next together in the pew, through singing the hymns and studying the Bible without worrying about others' worship experiences. Heck, we'll get to worship. More healing will occur as our involvement, talents, and passions are encouraged and welcomed.

We'll be able to connect with folks our age and in similar stages of life. A young-adult study led by the pastor is held every Monday, and we're going next week. In five Sundays we can attend a worship service together - simply as participants. We'll grow. We'll serve. We'll love and be loved. We'll constantly be reminded we're a part of something bigger than us. We'll understand it's not about us.

It's about Him and Him only. Hallelujah.


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