In my Pillars of Faith: A Faith That Sees sermon last week, I shared my vision about what our church might be. What is yours? What would you add to this list?
I see a faith community where everyone is welcome no matter their skin color or place of origin or sexual orientation or gender identity
A church that serves its neighborhood and attracts those from all over our county who are frustrated with the status quo and desire a new way to practice their faith fully and authentically
A house of prayer where we come together to pray for one another and learn the many languages of prayer and see that prayer as, Karl Barth describes it, the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.
Where we are nurtured and encouraged to to continue to work out our salvation as we experiment with what our relationship with Divine looks like and feels like and how that understanding works its way through our relationships and our work and our finances and our sexuality
Where all who participate in the life of the community are met at their place of need no matter the physical or mental or financial challenges they are facing
I imagine a church Where our children are safe and celebrated and are learning and experiencing what it means to relate fully and authentically to God, others, the earth, and themselves
I envision a city and a county that prioritizes its residents being fed and housed and educated and physically cared for over the building of new shopping plazas and sports stadiums – because we have called them to accountability and reminded them of our responsibility to one another as humans
I smell the fragrance of the foods of many cultures being prepared here on our campus as we throw open the doors to feed those that are hungry for food and community
I hear the teaching and conversation of those who are drawn together by sense of urgency and passion for focusing on resiliency and care of our planet and how we might live accordingly
I see dozens of people empowered to use the gifts and abilities that God has given them to make a difference in their church and in their families and in their condominiums and workplaces and communities
I feel the collegiality of people that are practicing relating to one another and learning and practicing the skills they need to provide the compassionate, strong leadership that is so desperately needed in our church and society
I feel the bittersweet tug on my heart as I envision how we will accompany those who have meant so much to the life of this church as they grow closer to end of life – how they will spend their final days and months in dignity and in the presence of those who love them.
I can’t help but lift my hands in praise as I experience hundreds gathered in worship on Sunday morning – lifting their voices and raising the rafters, overwhelmed by the presence of God and one another and celebrating what God has done in their life over the past week and celebrating their participation in the dream of God for a better community, world, and cosmos.