Yesterday was our last worship service at our old building. It seems surreal to call it our “old building”. But that’s what it is. There were many emotions in the room, people are in different places in their hearts and minds when they think about our transition and journey forward. I had a few tears as we were blessing our communion table, mostly because I was looking into the eyes of others who were crying. I am excited about the future.
I had to stop by the old building to pick up some things from the nursery. No one else as there. Most things we are taking are already gone. It was a little bit of a shock, a punch to the gut. But, it will always feel like home. In some ways at least. It’s just like good friends you haven’t seen in a while–you always pick back up where you left off. Except in this case our ministry continues–just in a new locale.
So I knew I’d want some sort of memory of the place. I didn’t take one yesterday, so I got a selfie this morning.
It’s perfect and will help me remember. A song from Sunset Boulevard has been running through my head all day. Our show choir sang it one year (with slight alterations).
I don’t know why I’m frightened, I know my way around here, The cardboard trees, the painted seas, the sound here. Yes, a world to rediscover, But I’m not in any hurry, And I need a moment. The whispered conversations In overcrowded hallways. The atmosphere is thrilling here as always. Feel the early morning madness. Feel the magic in the making. Why, everything’s as if we never said goodbye. And this time will be bigger. And brighter than we knew it, So watch me fly, we all know I can do it.
It’s a reminder to me that the important pieces of who we are have not been lost. We are strong, we are resilient, we are community. And I believe that is enough. So it was very humbling and inspiring to have our new signage greet me first thing this morning on our office building and door. Because this is who we are and where we are and the present and the future are bright.
My parents always had a rule: if you are going to read, you can stay up later. I think it was a ploy to keep us reading, and learning. Plus they both loved the written word. I don’t remember taking advantage of that rule (perk really) as much as my two sisters. And somewhere along the line my love of reading turned into a love of the spoken word (I love audio books and NPR). I’d find myself trying to read and dozing off, or getting distracted by the gobs of other things I needed to be doing at any given point. I have bookshelves full of booms I haven’t gotten around to reading. And often times I have three or four started at one time.
One of my friends told me about the Book of the Month club. It’s one of those subscription box type services where they let you choose one hard back book from a short list each month for only $9.99 (that’s one easy payment). Even though my love for reading has waned, I wanted to give it a try. And by using her link I got a second book free! To my joy one of the books was set in Appalachia (😍) and the other was written in the style of Agatha Christie. Less than a week after getting my books, I’ve finished the first and have started the second. I am feeling pretty accomplished.
I may have found my way back into the love of books, and to Shelly’s awe I’m sure, perhaps back into the love of fiction (because I’ve been a non-fiction fangirl for a long while). Here’s hoping I can keep this book reading alive. And if you are interested in trying BOTM, here’s my link: https://www.mybotm.com/bp5npb18ikk
If you’ve been around me at all the last two years you haven’t been able to escape a discussion on transitions happening at work and our congregation’s decision to relocate. There have been many God moments throughout this process and though pieces feel daunting there is a lot of excitement. This move, once merely on the horizon, is now close within reach and I have been thinking a lot about our temporary/transitional years and what that means as we define or redefine our community. Church will look different. Worship will look different. Fellowship and service work and meetings and, and, and; will look different.
But through all of that we will still be Church, we will still be Community. So what does community mean? What makes a church a church? I did an activity with my kids during Sunday school last week that helped them think about the similarities of our existence when we are in a temp space. I hope it was reassuring for them. And part of that exercise asked them to think about community in creative ways. Here is my list of what church is:
That’s church to me. At the heart it is all about the people and living our lives following in the footsteps of Jesus. We aren’t perfect, we are human. We fail, and we make mistakes, and sometimes we get it wrong. But we keep trying, we keep working, we keep going. Because we know what church means to us.
- Church is a movement. It’s taking a stand for the things we believe in and trying to live our lives the way Jesus lived his.
- Church is family. Not everyone always gets along but there are certain things that unify us. And we love and support each other even when we disagree.
- Church is helping others. It’s about giving back in whatever way we can because we aren’t alone in this crazy world, and we all need help in some form or fashion.
- Church is all generations growing and learning from one another. Everyone is important and every has something to teach and something to learn.