I was recently joking around with a DS and the conversation led to my telling him that if there are an abundance of churches needing pastors, the Cabinet can appoint me to one with a spiritually hungry group of multi-cultural, justice-seeking people. And, please make sure it’s an appointment with a salary that is not less than I am currently making, and please make sure it’s within a reasonable distance to RTP cause David’s gotta be able to get to work. And, please make sure that there are plenty of people in every age and stage of life and the church needs to have a multi-cultural music ministry filled with people who are more interested in glorifying God than themselves.
Don’t worry Y’all; I’m not seeking an appointment. I am perfectly happy being supportive of all sorts of churches and am fully aware that if a church such as what I’ve described existed and was in need of a new pastor, there would certainly be a long list of people way more qualified than me lined up to serve there.
But it did get me thinking more about what my ideal church would look like. Here’s a list, in NO particular order…
I’d like to belong to a church where ALL people are welcome. I mean poor people, rich people, people of all sorts of racial and ethnic backgrounds, people who are straight, LGBTQI or ABCDE… And when I say welcome, I don’t mean they can come to the church so we can try to change them. I mean recognizing the sacred worth and brokenness in ALL of God’s people.
I‘d like to belong to a church where people recognize that ALL that we have been given is a gift from God and that we are to share out of our abundance, striving towards a tithe and beyond!
I’d like to belong to a church where all people seek to be in a deep relationship with one another, not just casually, but in authentic relationships.
I’d like to belong to a church where everyone recognizes that there is something we can all learn from each other, that our preconceived notions might not actually be all there is to know, that we might actually be wrong sometimes.
I’d like to be in a church where mysticism is embraced, not feared, understanding that God speaks to us in all sorts of ways if we open ourselves up beyond our intellect.
I’d like to be a part of a church who believes that the Bible is the Word of God, viewing it through a historical-critical perspective rather than a literal lens.
I’d like to be a part of a church where those gathered do not come as consumers, only interested in having their personal preferences met, who do not gather to “get fed” as much as to worship God and give thanks for the blessings we’ve received.
I’d like to be a part of a church where Holy Communion is celebrated every time we gather to worship, recognizing that it is important to remember Christ’s sacrifice for us on a regular basis.
I could go on and on. But now I think it’s time to go work on getting a big fat log out of my eye.
If you would like to print or share this edition of Claire…ification,
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Claire – Dreaming of the Ideal Church
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