Dang it, I woke up with "Jesus is my friend" bubbling away in my brain. Ack. I suppose I deserved it.....
It's raining outside, and I'm at work sitting by the window watching the drips. The cool air actually feels good.
Ooooo! I have a cricket in my room. I do not like crickets. They jump. On me. They may be considered lucky, and people may keep them in brass boxes, but, yuck.
It's a melancholy day - I miss my friends. I miss Haiti. I miss Via Christus.
Speaking of which, we still haven't found a church. Wait, back up. We still haven't started looking for a church. You would think with a plethora of churches in this area we could find something. It just stresses me out to have to begin again. Boo.
I know what I don't want. It's harder to pinpoint what I do want. But let me try. This just might be a good exercise for this rainy afternoon.
I know I don't want to be part of an audience, being talked at. Or part of an audience being entertained. I much prefer discussion, or at least an opportunity to ask questions....
I prefer things more informal. I like a circle. At least a semi-circle. Much friendlier and conducive to discussion and feeling included. And it kinda puts us all on the same level, not separating the learned from the unenlightened.
I like small. House churches are great. And not so easy to find... I would settle for a small, simple congregation. I like chairs. They can be configured anyway you need them. Unless you have couches. Those are even better. ;)
I like experimenting with different types of worship - not just music. I like liturgy - not because I have to, but because it is enriching and fulfilling.
I like to participate - in readings, different kinds of worship, art - I'm spoiled. I'll admit it. Even if I choose not to participate, I at least want the choice.
I want to be part of a thinking and questioning group. Not just a face in a crowd where the same old thing is preached in whatever way is "in" right now. I want to dig deeper, to understand culture, to see underlying messages.
I want a leader who is not afraid to say I don't know. And one who doesn't think that just because they went to seminary 15 years ago they know it all. World without end. Amen.
Life is fluid. Learning is fluid. Christianity is fluid. New understandings become apparent as the spirit works. New revelations come to life when we are not afraid to rethink our positions. Why do we have to believe that the only allowed interpretations of the Bible ended with the King James version and (cough) Scofield's further interpretation thereof? (Remember the "curse of Ham" theory???) Or if we are more enlightened we just might accept the NKJ....
I want a church that cares about poverty, justice, and compassion. Not black and white, who's in, who's out, judgment and legalism. I've seen legalism get better over the years, but it's just an updated version with different rules.
I want a church where people are more concerned about how you are than what you wear; who live with compassion instead of judgment; who realize life is messy, and everyone has problems rather than one that always wants to uphold that look of perfection.
I want a church where there is no racism, class-ism, sexism or ageism. Or any other kind of ism for that matter.
I want a church where you don't have to be a Republican to be a Christian......where one can think and vote for the candidate that best matches up with their views. Democrat, Republican, Green, Independent - or any other party.
I want a church that cares more about people than the size of the congregation. That would rather invest in people than in fancy buildings and cutting edge technology. That is relational instead of attractional. Jesus was pretty blunt that it is not easy to follow him, he didn't try to attract people with tricks and programs. Even the miracles he did were relational.
I want a church that recognizes diversity. We aren't all the same. So why should a church force us to pretend to be? I value differences and good conversations - I just might learn something. We can celebrate the differences. All we need to agree on are the basic tenets of faith; to be unified on the essentials. (eg. the Apostle's Creed.)
I want a church that believes in Loving God and Loving others. Everything else will follow. One that realizes we have been blessed by God to be a blessing to others. One that is grace filled and community oriented.
I want a community.
I want a church.......