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.