One week in October, in the sixth month of Pastor, we did church.
It wasn't big church, performance church or even being close to perfect church. It wasn't church about numbers. It wasn't church about intellect or complicated theology. It wasn't church of being famous or "known." It was not church of heavy programs or heavily resourced. It was not church that brought in big names or big events.
It was just really good church with really good people.
It was multigenerational church. It was church that taught the young about God. It was church that deepened relationships through community. It was church that served the wider community.
It all began, 7am on Wednesday morning. Ten of us (some kids), mostly adults sat around a table eating breakfast. I am not going to lie. We were weary and little blurry eyed. Our table among 750 people also gathered at 7am to break bread and bare witness to our LGBTQI friends and neighbors.
We are here, we said. We love you, we said. We want to know your story, we said. It was church.
(picture of InsideOut! Program above)
It progressed to Wednesday evening (pictures of painted hands above). I left that evening and wanted a church of the arts. Messy and colorful and ridiculously creative. One mama asked something like, "other than traditional Sunday school how will our children learn about faith?"
On Wednesday evening twenty people; adults, children and youth gathered. They heard the story of the Last Supper. We told this story because World Communion Sunday was approaching. The kids (really everyone), heard the story through word, hands-on-art and baking bread. All of this presented on our alter the following Sunday (picture above). There was no doubt that our people learn about our Christian faith. They heard it. They smelled it. They tasted it. They felt it on their messy hands. Sacred text was embodied this week. #faithformation #ChristianEd
It was church of the arts. It was also church of hope and grace and love. Mid-week church is the best.
Friday, five women gathered (or so I heard) like Mary, Martha, Esther, Ruth, Syrophoenician women and perhaps Mary Magdalene. They did church too. They painted the entire sanctuary. But, it was more than that. They told stories of who they were. How they felt. What life was like in that moment. And, then there was a bible study in the wet-paint sanctuary and amongst the local art and I can only imagine a prayer. Things like: I "hope we fit in," "I struggle with that too," "I needed a project today, thank you."
A day well spent, in the little sanctuary. Shut-off from the world's chaos. There was church with five women.
Saturday morning our church gathered again. Some repeat folks, some folks joining us for the first time this week. BFCC participated in the city wide, CityServe Day. We met at Crossfire Ministries, a non-profit serving the working poor on the northeast side of Colorado Springs. Again, multigenerational. Again, we did church. Again, our faith embodied, practiced, experienced. God will provide was said more than once. And, we sorted clothes, bagged up chicken, divided eggs and diluted shampoo into recycled water bottles. And, while we worked. I listened.
I enjoyed the stories of those that surrounded me. Stories of lives past. Stories of hopes for the future. Stories of adult children and young children. Stories of passions and progress.
This week in October, in the sixth month of Pastor we did church. And, it was more than sitting in pews, it was more than liturgy and sermonizing and administering the church. It was about showing up, it was about art and creating, it was about working and serving and listening to story. It was about prayer.
More than anything, it was really good church.