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Community, Agape, Feast

20February2012

My apologies for today’s post being late to press and even further apologies if today’s post is hard to track.  It seems that the upper respiratory crud that has gripped much of the US this winter has claimed another victim.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I am an economist at heart.  I read the Wall Street Journal and The Economist almost as much as I do Scripture – and I felt bad about that until one of my mentors in Church and Family Systems made the same confession.  

This weekend, the Wall Street Journal had as their “Saturday Essay” a piece called “Religion for Everyone.”  You can read the article here.  I found the article amazing, it was moving, it was challenging and it made me, for just a moment, revert to Arthur Fonzarelli and wrestling with the fact that I may have been wr… wro… wron… I may have been naive in some of my presumptions.

As a congregation at our current staffing levels we are at capacity.  For every person that dies, someone moves in.  For every family that joins, one leaves.  I know the Alban studies that explain why, but it still bothers me.  In talking with the families that left and knowing where they have gone I ASSUMED (yeah, I know) that they left because of entertainment/worship.  I was naive – these families, in their 30’s, professional, with children left because they didn’t have a sense of community within the congregation.  They enjoyed the worship, the people, even the preaching – but they struggled to find community inside the congregation, so they went searching for community.

The parish I serve is about to get a huge dose of “Life Together” and “Community Building” – amazingly it started yesterday without any input from Pastor – an anonymous donor sponsored a bowling day for anyone who wanted to bowl – FREE.  35 people, from ages 4 to 74 came out to laugh, bowl, and build community.  As I was in my chair with the crud, I didn’t experience any of it – and I found as I saw posts on my facebook timeline – I was sorry I missed it.

How are you building community? What are your thoughts on the article? How do we capture that early church understanding of Love Feast?

Blessings

dwb@ccd

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