Yesterday - my official "day off" - I found work infringing in every aspect of the day. The good news (besides God, of course) is that I was able to ignore the church work even as I addressed the house work. I do feel refreshed, knowing that SoulLink UCC/DOC was in good (God) hands even as I refused to be drawn into the fray. This day, the first of my week, starts out cold with a promise of spring later in the afternoon.
As I peruse Facebook, keeping up with friends across the country, I see that Amanda Gail, in West Virginia, lives in a community that has been flooded (with more rain forecast). The residents who live by the raging river face huge loss of even meager possessions. In Amanda Gail's pictures, the destruction is heart-wrenching - mobile homes broken, bedding thrown outside for safety, but now sodden from swollen rivers. I vow to mobilize resources in this county and somehow get them to her. She has already said they will need bottled drinking water. I can load up my VW Beetle and take some down - West Virginia is about 6 hours drive, not all that far - though perhaps a collection of money would be more practical. I will ask my congregation and others to contribute. And maybe I will drive down with water in a week.
The new church start seems to be hitting a valley (perhaps it is me that is hitting the valley?). In being profiled for this "career within a career" I was asked how I face rejection and disappointment and I replied that I just get up the next day and start over. And, I do. But it is not easy - rejection of God-in-the-sky and the church is taken personally by me, even as I know that those we seek to reach don't want "church as usual" - they want a way to touch God that leaves out the pejorative God we all so often hear about. At the same time, I (we have to underline "I") don't think they seek a god who rewards "right behavior" with material goods. On a semi-regular basis, I offer a nontraditional worship experience where readings (scripture and other Godly-thoughts) are read and discussed. The few who attend like this format.
The real problem, I think, is that I don't know how many people to expect. How many people even want church in this post-post-modern time? Even church done differently. Can we really worship God in the back yard? Should we? Isn't this something that is richer with community of the like-minded? I welcome comments - any input will help me address this conundrum.
Until next Tuesday, may you walk in God's grace.