We’re a small and growing mob of misfits, regular types and er… others. ♥
This image by Kyle Steed is kind of US in a nutshell (or a little drawing of a church.)
We’re exceptionally good at welcoming people but we’re still learning how to do that better by including people BEYOND the initial welcome. It’s hard when we’re used to doing everything ourselves because we’ve HAD to, but we’re determined to improve!
We do disorganised religion really well. Even when everything is super-well-planned, something is bound to go wrong… the data projector won’t talk to the computer or the slides decide to create their own automatic timing or the children arrive AFTER the particularly funky new kid’s song we’ve introduced that morning or we’ve planned something creative for 60 people and only 16.2 rock up.
We started advertising our Sunday worship at 10ish because some people drive for more than an hour to get to church and we don’t want people to think that if they’re not going to be there AT 10am, they might as well not come. Actually, it started because the Minister has been known to be late but it’s become a “thing” and we like it. (Apparently, it also amuses the millions of drivers going past every day!)
Theologically, we lean towards the “progressive” end of things. This means that we bring our brains to church and expect our faith and understanding to be challenged – we won’t tell you what to think, but you may discover a new way of thinking about the Bible and God and Jesus and all that stuff. We tend to have more questions than answers and we don’t always agree with one another. We’re committed to living in love and grace – not just talking about it. We are guided by the life and teachings of Jesus, the Christ but we are open to other sacred teachings and wisdom. We believe in justice and peace for all – including our planet and everything on it. We don’t require labels based on colour, gender, sexual orientation, belief system, social class, shoe size or anything else – but we do wear name tags.
We are fabulous but we are not perfect and we don’t meet everyone’s needs. In fact, to paraphrase Nadia Boltz-Weber in Pastrix: the Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint (Jericho, 2013), “We will disappoint you. It’s a matter of when, not if. We will let you down or (the Minister) will say something stupid and hurt your feelings.” We don’t always get it right… we’re incredibly human and fallible. When this happens, as it does in almost every church including House for All Sinners and Saints (Nadia’s church) and in ours, Nadia goes on to say, “I then invite them on this side of their inevitable disappointment to decide if they’ll stick around after it happens. If they choose to leave when we don’t meet their expectations, they won’t get to see how the grace of God can come in and fill the holes left by our community’s failure, and that’s just too beautiful and too real to miss.”
So… there you go!
There’s LOTS more but… meh… just come along… it’s more fun than reading.