Monday, June 14, 2010

The Blessings of Going Small To Do Great Things

Such a privilege to be doing church with a great small group. Yesterday we had one of our most numerous Sunday worship gatherings and we were still, by the time you count everyone who was there for worship, conversation, or common meal or one part of those (we say worship is a party not a program), close but under 20. That's fewer then the number we had at our very first Easter worship in a hotel room in Owasso in 2003. But oh how we have grown.

Yesterday also we used the UUCF Revival hymnbook for morning song time during worship and talked about the depth of the old hymns and how to find meaning and comfort there and new understandings of the old words by tapping into the experience that gave rise to the hymns and their power over time.

Communion was all about companionship, being with bread literally, and being a church that is "put together" and puts people together, candle time and prayers touched on so many, especially for the tragedy in Arkansas.

Then we had Spiritual Stump The Chump, apologies to the Car Talk brothers; I gave an introduction to the construcive theological map and general terms or touchstones on it, then they paired up and chose one of the theological terms, or bible or praxis as a possible subject, and came up with questions for me to field.

Like...How does God keep His people safe in the world of real hazards? Did God create life on other planets, and if so what would their religion be like? What about the inconsistencies between the image of God and the attributes of the universe? Is there an ultimate authority on ethical matters of human conduct or is everything simply social constructs? What does it mean to be saved? Can everyone be saved? Can non-Christians be saved? And I think memory is missing a few of them.

We will definitely be revisiting some of these, as I like to turn the tables on them and ask questions like these and others back.

We didn't get the whole theological map covered in the questions, of course; everyone of them is a seminary semester course, but it is fun to field them on the fly and, as one of our running mottos was yesterday, embrace our "chumpiness" embrace our suckiness, embrace what we don't know or can't know for sure.

That and they seemed to like the shorthand tagline for us as "a christian church where you don't have to be christian" because it gets people to thinking and seeing so many things in a new light, but of course it raises up its whole new set of questions, which we will take up as we continue our holy conversations each week in one place or another.

Then we had our common meal and planned our Juneteenth Turley and Area Fourth Annual Free Festival for this coming Friday and Saturday, and scheduled a worktime for Wednesday at 6 pm to set up.

What a blessing, and what energy I get from being with the folks who come companion with one another and create a place for those we don't yet know. Hope to see you sometime with us too, especially in mission first and then--in gratitude for being called into mission, and for sustanenance for the missional life--in worship.

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