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"You can't just start a church."
I was sitting with a friend having lunch when I told him I was going to start a "church." I don't think it was so much the idea of a "church" as much as it was just too weird for him. He's a faith-filled friend--an academic well versed in the theology of a Christian religion.
The concept of a "church" that doesn't worship any god and has a grand total of four words in its "theology" just didn't qualify for him. "Why would you do that?" he asked.
"We don't attend church anymore."
As I meet with my own friends and with the couples I'm going to marry, I hear that statement over and over. When I explore the "...anymore" part, there is a combination of anger and sadness in their responses.
They hate the politics and judgement. Gay marriage. Clergy abuse of children. Misogyny. Abortion and contraception. Tax exempt wealth. Exclusivity. Tyrannical leadership. Anger.
But they miss church, too. Singing together. Ritual. Fellowship. Inspiration and education.
I began to wonder what a "church" dedicated to song, ritual, fellowship and inspiration would look like.
"What about God? You can't have a church without God."
It was tough, choosing to go with the word "church." But social club doesn't cut it. And GOD is not the most important thing. Consider our theology: Be kind. Be grateful. That's it.
So is this some kind of athiest thing? No. It's definitely not. "Believing" is not the important thing. Whatever you believe, if it helps you to be kind and be grateful, is just fine.
It's the "Church" of the Moment. Not of god or mother earth or allah or buddha or jesus or hu. It's what you do, not what you believe. Emily Dickinson: "Forever is composed of nows." Yeah.