Saturday, August 22, 2009

from around...

Disclaimer: Only the quotes were supposed to be in italics on this post. Yet, somehow Blogger thinks I would like everything to be in italics. I can't make it stop! So, please read on and disregard the funky formatting for today...

"Here’s the bottom line: our churches are supposed to be challenging, not charming. We are supposed to be saving the world, not preserving nostalgia. In a broken and hurting world, whether or not our buildings have authentic period-appropriate copper gutters sometimes strikes me as a pretentious concern of rich over-educated white people. A church is a mission, not a museum."

A great quote from a great post over at Creatio Ex Nihilo: Ideas from Don Heatley's Spiritual Journey.

Another great post you should check out is this one, entitled "Woo woo, then laundry, then more woo woo" at Voila! with Bridget Pilloud. I love that she speaks to the fact that we are always doing sacred acts in the middle of the true.

So, check them out! (And sorry again about the italics, and now, apparently, the bold font as well...)


Juniper said...

I havent read the whole post, so I dont know the context, but I'm responding to that first quote.

I dont know what's happening in the rest of the country, so maybe it's just in the anti-churchy context here in the Pacific Northwest, but I have found out here in the edges of things that preserving heritage is actually kind of a radical thing to do. Like anything, of course, it can be taken too far to extremes, but when i arrived at my current context (2 years almost exactly) I found a group of sad and shellshocked folks, who wanted to be relevant, but didnt know how - not a group of smug ones who wanted to jsut preserve what they had at whatever cost.

What we've been working on the last couple of years is building on what we do have - a history and a building which are woven togehter and which provide a sense of stability and groundedness in a place and time in which people have not put down roots, are not "from here," who may be far from family either geographically or emotionally. Our location, and facility, really are integral to our identity as a congregation and I guess what I'm trying to say is that I ahve come to see, thru this congregation, something I did not believe before which is that that is a good thing. Our building is warm (or cool in summer), well maintained, and safe. And we are working with a local group on an exciting project involving community garden and cooking classes - a ministry that woudl not be possible for us without our Place.

One of our sister churches in town has just made the choice to sell their facility and commit to other ministries, which has its own value. All I'm trying to say, I guess, is that space is sacred, and part of the work we can do is to acknowledge that.

Ok, now that I've TOTALLY taken over your comments, I'll go over and check out the actual post. Thanks for the food for thought.

Sarah said...

Hey Juniper, sorry for taking so long to write back! Did you get a chance to read the post? It's interesting because I totally get what you're talking about and appreciate it, and I think Heatley was kind of coming at everything from a different angle, which another colleague of mine here in PA also remarked about this week.

Her concern was that the OLDER people in her congregation seemed more willing to consider changes within the church that might also affect the church building, while the YOUNGER ones wanted things to stay the same so that when they "came home" it would still be the same church they remembered. Interesting paradox, IMO...