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27 December 2009

I Want a Church...

I want a church:
where liturgy is prayed
and not read off a page - whether recited perfectly or mumbled and mispronounced.

I want a church:
where scripture is taught and proclaimed
and not where sermons are performed in imitated cultural idiom.

I want a church:
where the music ministry is a culturally-relevant ministry
steeped in spirituals, soaring gospel and confident in shared hymn and anthem traditions
and not a competition or recital.

I want a church:
where the language speaks of God and to God, making space for God to speak
and not silencing rhetoric reifying hegemeny.

I want a church:
where people pray from their hearts whether or not the use the ancient rubrics
and not a room full of people disconnected from God, each other and themselves.

I want a church:
where people serve God by serving each other inside and outside of the walls
and not a country club where most refuse to pay dues
and refuse to let the pittance that is collected meet anyone's real need.

I want a church:
where children and teenagers are recognized as the Church of today
and not the church of tomorrow.

I want a church:
were people study, pray and work together all year long
and not one that closes for the season or the summer.

I want a church:
that engages the brokenness of this world with prophetic words and healing balm
and not one that watches out of its deteriorating stained glass windows
and the world destroys itself, including its own members.

I want a church:
where pettiness and meanness are the exception and not the rule.

I want a church:
where people speak and act as though they have been transformed by God
and not as though they have never even heard the words they mouth around their gossip.

I want a church:
that gives without scheming to take it back
and not one that uses people, uses them up and throws them away.

I want a church:
that loves so much it is embarrassing and humbling and irresistible and infectious
and not one that is filled with hate and utilizes fear for hateful purposes.

I want a church:
of whom God is not ashamed, nor I,
and not one shamelessly parading and promenading as an imperial token,
neither knowing nor caring that the emperor has no clothes.

I want a church:
that I don't have to die to join
and not one whose present reality is an imitation of life.

I want a church:
that is not perfect
and not one that is wholly unconcerned with seeking perfection.

I want a church:
where all are welcome
and not one where all check-writers are tolerated, to a point.

And I want it now. Soon. This Sunday. Tomorrow. Come Holy Spirit.


  1. I needed to get this out *before* I went to church. And to think, I've never been much of a journaler.