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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why?

Marion’s recent post, Challenge, gives us a lot to think about. If you followed the links to the achurchforstarving artists blog , or the pomotheo one, you will know that it is part of a much larger and very interesting conversation. The conversation might even be considered important, at least to those who think about the purpose and future of the church and the congregations.

In her post, Jan Edmiston asks the question, “Why exactly do we gather together as a congregation on Sunday mornings?” This is a question a lot of people have been asking in recent years. Judging by the empty seats in many churches, apparently the reasons why we do are not so obvious to a lot of people.

For some other folks, the answer comes quickly; “We gather together to worship God.” Why do we do that? As someone I respect said to me recently, “Does God even want our praise? Is this the best way to show our love for God?"

Appropriately I think, Edmiston never answers her own question, but does posit several possibilities, each of which end with a question mark. You can review those by following the line above, but I would like to add a few more.
• To plan for our collective mission?
• To support each other in mission?
• To celebrate our achievements with God in mission?
• To teach Christian mission to new disciples including our children?

I have often noticed that when I start thinking about a major topic like this, almost instantly there are many sources that come together to bring added information to the subject. (What’s going on there on a “spiritual” level?) Usually those raise more questions, but occasionally they may also point towards answers. It was therefore not surprising that yesterday Kris Judd sent me a link which led me to this very intriguing YouTubeVideo. I hope you enjoy it.

But most of all, I hope you will join this conversation. Why do you go to church on Sunday mornings if you do? If you don’t go, why do you not? What do you do instead? We promise you will not be judged, nor will your answers; we just need to talk. And while you are at it, watch for those added pieces of information that may come your way while you are thinking about it!

Posted by Carman

3 comments:

  1. Carman:

    I'm thinking of the old saw about the visitor to the Quaker church who asked at the end of a silent hour, "When does the worship service begin?" The answer is why I go to church. "The Worship is over, now the Service begins."

    I can worship at home, or anywhere else for that matter, but I probably would find something else to do, as most do who give this as thir answer about staying home on Sunday morning.

    But the discipline of being there every week, forces me to stop my life for a few hours and join with others of like minded theology, to spend that time in a concentrated worship experience. It brings me back to reality, and it puts my life back into perspective.

    The video at the end of your Blog, truly illustrates the true act of service to our community.

    Celebration and worship happen at church, service happens in real life, where people live and hurt, laugh, cry and dispair.

    What matters most is for us to get our "Worship Service" happening in the right sequence.

    Mel

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think I may have missed attending Sunday services no more thn a couple of dozen times in the last 70 years. So perhaps I am attending out of habit. It is my habit to be found in church every Sunday. I know that if I have to miss a Sunday I am lost. I don't know what to do with myself. Sunday servoices anchor my week and measure my days.

    Since my early teens I have been responsible for something every Sunday p playing the piano, teaching a church school class, presiding, preaching, not to mention opening up, making the coffee, printing the bulletin, preparing the sacrament, etc. Over the years I have fulfilled every function of congregational life. So perhaps it is a senes of duty that takes me to church every Sunday.

    I try to make a difference in people's lives in my professional life and in my volunteer work. I try to be a positive influence. Did I learn this from attending church? It is important to me to leave a person with whom I come in contact feeling better for having been with me.

    I always look forward to going to church. I always hope to have sn encounter with the Divine. Sometimes I do. If I don't, this does not discourage me.

    To cancel a service or close a church is very painful for me. I am saddened that many people do not see church, especially one as cutting edge as the Community of Christ, as relevant to their lives. Being active in the curch has been
    the joy of my life.

    Marion, feel free to edit. Shirley
    I forget what you told me is my profile so i will say anon. but I don't have to be anon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you both for your truly wonderful comments. There is nothing I would want to edit here for sure. Glad to see you in the conversation.

    I agree Mel, this was the point of my recent comment about "preaching." If the preaching or the worship doesn't move us out into the "service" then of what use is it?

    And Shirley's illustrations of going out the make a difference emphasizes the same point.

    Thanks to both of you.

    ReplyDelete