Four of my Lent dinners down, one to go, and I think my remarkable theory that, given the chance, people enjoy being with other people has been proven. Feel free to pass it along. “Idea by Chuck” or something like that would be appreciated.
And my involvement has become what it should have been, just the guy who functions as the clearinghouse for casseroles and sets up the tables. Last night we had breakfast for dinner, and I should have skipped the first breakfast I had. This was more food than I’d seen in a while, waffles and Danish and eggs and sausage and biscuits and gravy and a ton of fruit.
So one dusty idea with pretty worn treads turned out to work. If you cook it, they will come. They will also cook it if you ask nicely.
My little video interviews have gone well, too, although they’re personal stories and mostly center around these people finding this little church, hidden away on a residential street in a modest neighborhood. If you watched these, and watched them many times, as I have in the editing process, you’d discover a pattern: These people are comfortable with their faith, and don’t seem to feel particularly compelled to talk much about that. What they talk about is finding a place where they felt at home, where they felt welcome, where they felt that anyone was welcome. That comes up all the time. This is the little church that did, and keeps doing.
I’ve thought for years that I had something to say, some long essay or book or something that took on perceptions and demonstrated a different reality. I wanted to write about the vagaries of faith, the different paths and journeys and philosophies that bring people into a room to do some pretty strange things. Things that feel natural and familiar.
And my experience is very different from others. Of course. I suspect anyone who visited our church who was used to attending a church would find little to be surprised at. It’s pretty conventional, if small. I belong to a mainline Protestant denomination that is considered among the most liberal, in general, and you’ll hear our prayers and concerns for all sorts of people we don’t know, including people our government is trying to keep out of the country. There’ll sometimes be stuff about our stewardship of the planet, which seems to be a liberal idea these days.
There would definitely be differences if your experience is, say, Pentecostal. Although we place a high premium on music, and we definitely do some rocking and rolling when the spirit moves. And there’s definitely a Spirit at work among us.
None of this is what I’m hearing on these videos. This isn’t about people discovering God; that journey has already, for the most part, been started. It’s about people needing a community, and how they found one.
Yeah. I think it would be hard to write what I’m feeling and thinking. I just know it when I see it, and I’ve seen it a lot lately.