Thursday, May 22, 2008

not another frickin' church!

That's exactly how I feel when I hear about another church start, another property purchased, a developer doing whatever they do to perpetuate themselves without any critical regard for why we are doing what we're doing. How's about we move from church starts to church ends. I mean the last thing the world needs is another church. Didn't Jesus come to do away with the in-a-box thingy? What the world could benefit from, and especially those churchy people within, is a new way of being church. There is a HUGE difference. That's exactly what we're up to at the flagstaff abbey, being church in a new way...through our differentiated unity, through a contemplative way into peace and reconciliation. Who knows, I'm not particularly interested in the grandiosity or even the aesthetically cutting-edge aspect of it all as much as an attempt to embody a new way, faithfully rooted with the ancients, while walking with some others today just to see what might happen. What if the very doctrine of the 'new kind of Christian' (to use McClaren's language) community was not in the propositions of faith we held, but in the way we celebrated being held? What if being held was about how we engaged with each other as if we, humanity, really mattered, had value, each of us and that God was in and around it all, creating something new? What if in our celebration of being held it also included other's ability to engage and change us? Could God be in the other, changing me, calling something vital in and from out of me? Give it up to God and say, here it is, here we are, broken, lonely, exhausted, take what you will, use us as we gather and scatter in your name and make it, us, your own.

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