Thoughts on my new church during Holy Week

Posted by Bushel Basket in , , ,

Damn, I found a good church. In the last few months, I've joined Church of the Three Crosses, a joint United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church in the Old Town neighborhood. It's a bit of a trek to get to from my apartment, but it is well worth it.

Why do I like it? I'm glad you asked. First and foremost, I like how the church balances being a socially active church and how it maintains a good feeling of community and spiritual focus. One image I won't soon forget is at the beginning of worship one week there were a couple of children sitting on the floor in front of the first row coloring, and it just felt natural. There wasn't a concern from the congregation that those children should behave differently, or a sense that these children aren't a central part of the church. It is also a plus that the church isn't large, as I like knowing or at least recognizing most of the people I see each week.

I have also really enjoyed the messages I hear, especially this Lenten season. There was a clear tying of the Lenten readings with the struggles of the world. Partially this was due to the wonderfully motivated Lenten book group. There was a clear parallel between Jesus' ministry and the modern struggles with corporate and political interests. The phrase, "Jesus died for the sins of the world," which has always given me the willies, was re-evaluated into an understanding that that guy Jesus died because of the sins of the world and was put to death by the powers that be.

It was interesting, and more than a bit coincidental, that the issue with Barack Obama's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright came to light just as we reached Palm Sunday. Much has been said about this issue, more than I could keep up with at times. The service focused on the two processions that entered Jerusalem, a peasant procession and an imperial procession. We can choose to walk with the people, or with the powers that be. The pastor, Rev. John Hobbs, was clear to point out the dangers and penalties of choosing to not walk the imperial path, the dangers that seemed to be befalling Obama and Rev. Wright. The media, which had been fawning over Obama almost as if he was a savior, now came down upon his pastor with great wrath and vengeance for daring to speak the word that disagreed with the official response to the disasters of 9-11, one that did not let us forget that we were not blameless in the woes of world, and that now we are sharing in those woes. I don't want to spend talking too much about the Wright controversy (another blog, perhaps), but that the worship in the church was able to bring the word to the world we live in today, as well as the spiritual concerns, was wonderful. It's wasn't just a fiery political laden sermon, or a sermon that only focused on what happened 2000 years ago, but sought to bring them together.

Knowing myself, I have tried to hold myself back from getting over-committed, but I have joined the mission and building committees. There's always a lot going on, and there are many hands to do it. The church reminds me of the small town church I went to when I was a child in rural Michigan, a real extended family.

Bring on the Epiphany.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, March 22, 2008 at Saturday, March 22, 2008 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


3 Crosses is a holy place!

March 22, 2008 at 10:59 PM

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