Our church is going through somewhat of an identity crisis. I love my church! For me it is like a family, incorporating both the good and bad, the annoying and encouraging, the supporting and questioning aspects of any family dynamic. Probably my most favorite thing about our church is that we openly agree to disagree on many topics. This means that we are not a homogenous group. We are varied in almost every way; age group, economic status, political persuasion, environmental concerns. We coud be more ethinically diverse, but perhaps this is also a feature of our community which is also not very ethinically diverse. This has always surprised me, as I view our broader community very open, and I would assume all groups would feel welcome, but I thinks this points to other issues about self observation that deserves it’s own post in the future.
Our identity crisis revolves mostly around who we want to be in the future. We are a somewhat small and tight knit group. And for every person who wants to broaden that circle and reach out to others and bring them into the group, there is another person fearful that “new” people will change the group dynamic and we will lose what makes us special and therefore tight knit.
I personally view the situation as an opportunity to share more of our loving kindness with others and grow the tight knit group. That more people to love won’t fundamentally change who we are.
There is a strong pull on us to reach out to our community and be of service to others. And to that end a group of us is launching a new opportunity this coming month to do just that. It is called The Service Project and the intent is come together and perfom acts of service to our community. A brief outline of what we are:
“Communal, interactive, alive, integral, dependent, alive, changing, exploring, asking, leading, learning, listening.
What we plan to do:
Create a place and times, to come together to worship, learn, service, reach out, create, share and support.
Ideas about how we can do this:
Monthly worship comprised of sensory, media, interactive tangible sharing.
Monthly service projects around such ideas as supporting the NA group at CCSV, reaching out to community via art and music and other means, developing the property for uses such as a prayer labyrinth and/or stations of the cross, ministering at Beach Flats and Elm Street Mission.
And your ideas.”
So our journey starts now. I will check in with you all on regular basis and let you know how our experiment goes. Pray for us. I hope we can inspire others to not be afraid of change and open their hearts to expanding the family circle.
Update: I forgot the most important part, our scriptual basis:
“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but it is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:12