June at The Well

by susan on June 5, 2015

Better together picIn Leaving Church, Barbara Brown Taylor writes,

“In a quip that makes the rounds, Jesus preached the coming of the kingdom, but it was the church that came. All these years later, the way many of us are doing church is broken and we know it, even if we do not know what to do about it. We proclaim the priesthood of all believers while we continue with hierarchical clergy, liturgy, and architecture. We follow a Lord who challenged the religious and political institutions of his time while we fund and defend our own. We speak and sing of divine transformation while we do everything in our power to maintain our equilibrium. If redeeming things continue to happen to us in spite of these deep contradictions in our life together, then I think that is because God is faithful even when we are not.”

When I first read these words, the truth of them cut deep.  I know well the contradictions and the distance between the kingdom of God & the life of the Church, but I also choose to walk in hope that renewal is possible.  After all, isn’t that at the core of what it means to practice resurrection?  So, while I get that there are a million reasons to steer clear of many churches, I still believe the gospel is meant to be practiced in community.

The problem is that we seem to not be able to keep ourselves from getting it wrong.

If we are to pave a way forward and return to a more Jesus-like way of being church, there have to be people willing to risk discomfort, failure, and lots of other things.  There have to be people listening, experimenting, praying, sharing life together and trusting that God will somehow make something of our mistakes. They do so because deep beneath their disappointment in the Church, there is kernel (albeit a very tiny one) of belief that something new can be born of dirt, broken dreams & dead bones. And, they do so not just for themselves, but for the sake of the whole world that needs to see & know that love & peace & hope are present realities. They need a witness to these things and we bear witness to them better together.

I believe we are better together, and that as we trust, worship & serve, God will show us a way forward.

We’ll think more about this during the month of June & we’d love for you to be a part. Whether you are doubting, believing or just curious; whether you have vowed never to step foot into another Christian community or are hopefully optimistic, you are welcome. We’ll talk about the early church, pray the Psalms & listen for how we are being invited to practice the way of Jesus together.

June 7: Psalm 1 & Acts 2:37-41: Life Together
June 14: Psalm 113 & Acts 2:42-43: Praising Together
June 21: Psalm 27:1-6 & Acts 2:44-47: Serving Together
June 28: Prepare & share lunch with Church Without Walls (no evening gathering)

With hope & anticipation,

Susan

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