11.10.19 #30Days

30 Days of Gratitude: Day #10

My reserves are drained, but I can say this: It’s Sunday, which for an ever-decreasing population means “Church Day”. For me, it also means work day. Today was a long, tiring one – but even while my body is tired, my heart is full.

For the majority of my life I’ve been a church goer. For four years in Lubbock, while pursuing a degree at Texas Tech University, I ignored any sort of religious gathering and denied any relevance of faith to my naively independent, rock and roll chick life. But the void remained, and my mid-twenties saw a return to organized religion. My faith has morphed since that time, but Sunday morning church has been a mainstay. I’m not sure it works this way for everybody, but my parents raised me to believe that church was important and necessary; I left for a while, but I came back.

And while my return included some unhealthy organizations (fundamentalism and complementarianism left a mark…), I’m grateful for the place I landed some 15 years ago when I moved to Virginia. My mom suggested we check out a newish church that was meeting at the local high school. PCC became the next step in a painful but necessary healing process, one in which I saw the redemptive love of God lived out in real time, among real people – and offered freely to me. It’s been just about the best community of faith I could imagine, one that’s nurtured me and challenged me and invited me to live out my calling, both personally and professionally.

A friend said today that they’d heard a lot about the early years of our church, when the staff was small and we were making strategic decisions about growth and mission and buildings and all sorts of stuff. Those early days were heady, indeed; we moved at the speed of light – and left some wreckage along the way. Somehow, we became more organized; institutionalized, even – which does well to keep things moving and protecting people and processing, allowing healthy growth, but it changed the vibe we carried back in the early days. They were early, and fast-moving – but not always healthy. Yes, they were “good old days” – but the change has been positive, and these days are better in many ways.

Today was an important day, as our church looks to the future, reimagining exactly what we are called to be and do in the context of our culture, our calling, and the larger dynamic of people and their relationships with God and with each other. This friend said that they were excited to be part of this new beginning, a refreshed initiative, a place to plant ourselves so that they, too,  could one day look back and say, Whoa…remember when? 

I guess we’re making new “good old days.”

Tonight, I’m grateful for this community of faith that has fueled so much of my spiritual growth and given me a family. We say “I LOVE MY CHURCH” and it’s become a cliché, but I do.

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