Friday, January 29, 2010

And the moon dripped with lemonade 'til it waved goodbye

Yesterday was an interesting day in an interesting week. It started out with the weekly pastors gathering, and it was my turn to host. I use the word pastor only because that's what we all do for a living, though none of us hardly fit the traditional pastoral mode. It was an odd time because we're all three going away to a retreat this weekend, and I think we all have high hopes, but we've been around long enough to know that it's likely we will come back and it will still be Kansas (ok, Indiana). And the conversation seemed to dwell on depression in our churches, not being able to compete with bigger and better churches, how it feels to be rejected, and other uplifting topics.

I did have a fairly productive day though. Since I'm not preaching this Sunday I was actually able to get quite a number of things crossed off my to-do list this week. Some things had been on there for maybe over a year. So I felt really good about that. I swear, sometimes I think I am busier on weeks when I don't have to prepare a sermon than weeks when I do. Probably because that's when I do all those things that I don't do when preparing sermons. I don't know.

Anyway, since Jane had class last night I decided I would go visit someone that I really and honestly don't care to visit with but feel like I need to every now and then. So I sat for an hour and listened to fingernails scrape the chalkboard. The same stories, the same complaining, the same nagging about why don't I visit more often (even though I am obviously an imbecile).

I finally got home and had a message from a dear sweet woman who had received some terrible news. I headed right over and sat and talked with her for awhile.

I came back home and had an email from a friend who told me I needed to get down off of my high horse. Which was interesting because I was thinking the same thing about them.

Then Jane gets home from class all shook up. Last week the teacher got the class riled up because he said he was an atheist. Now, remember, this is a humanities class at a secular, state, university; and it's also all older people in the class. They just could not handle that an "ATHEIST" was talking about politics and religion and whatnot. Well, last night they were talking about the enlightenment, and he suggested that the U.S. founding fathers weren't necessarily "Christian" (which I would agree with). Jane made some comments about what she thought Christianity was, and apparently everyone jumped down her throat. I think the gist of it was that 'way of Christ' and the 'American Dream' are not the same thing. The only person who thought she was making sense was the atheist teacher. Which I can see why it was upsetting to her, but I actually wonder if he is a real atheist, or if he is someone who just rejects what we have made Christianity into today. I would actually like to meet the guy sometime. I think it would even be interesting to have him come speak at our church. It seems like so many people really have no idea what Christianity is; what it means to 'follow Christ.' They are more interested in a civil religion.

Anyway... today I head out for southeast Ohio to a salt fork resort or some such thing to participate in something our denomination is doing with Reggie McNeal called the 'Missional Leadership Initiative.' I'm looking forward to a few days away; and I am one of those people who really does like to sit around and talk about stuff with other people who like to sit around and talk about stuff. But I'm taking some books along just in case. And I hope the weather cooperates. I should probably start packing.

One of these days maybe I'll get around to explaining the new blog title (in case you haven't noticed).

Peace out; and in.


Carrie said...

I think it would be incredibly interesting to have an Athiest come speak at church only not tell anyone that he was an Athiest until the next week. I wrote a blog a long time ago about how hard it is to love a group of people when you've never met someone who fits that particular group (I think I specifically wrote about homosexuals, homeless people, people who have had abortions...). I think it would be really eye opening for a lot of people to know that, for the most part, the way an athiest lives their life is no different than the way most Christians live theres. I would even argue that a lot of athiests probably live lives more like Jesus than a lot of Christians - from a social justice perspective anyway.

Ehh...I need to make our lunches...anyway, enjoy your trip!

Tom said...

My brother had me sign up for this web event last night. It was talking about Christian/Muslim relations and one of the big issues is how Muslims perceive followers of Jesus differently than how they perceive Christians. It was a very good discussion and even though it was last night you should be able to see a video of it at the website. If it is not up yet it will be soon I think.

Jim said...

I hadn't noticed the name change 'cause I read you in Google Reader. I presume it is in response/reaction to the Naked Pastor blog? (Who I stopped reading quite some time ago.)

Joan B. said...

Someplace in Nouwen's writing he alludes to the fact that mature Christians are closer in their thoughts to agnostics than to the immature religious. Seems like that might apply to Jane's experience. Hope your week-end turns out well.