an emerging, missional Christian community in the Scranton, PA area:
rooted in the Episcopal Church, welcoming all.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Something I Know Something About

For some time now, I have been aware of the fact that I really ought to contribute something to this blog (I am on the list of contributors, as you can easily see). It isn’t that I haven’t had anything to say…I certainly haven’t been lacking in the opinions department… it’s just that when it comes to theology, to doctrine, to church tradition… I don’t know if what I have to say makes much sense. I’m right in the thick of questioning and learning. When I have something, anything, figured out (in regards to the above stated topics), I’ll write about it. Promise.

On to something I do know makes sense: Why I love my (emerging) church. The question of why people are drawn to the emergent movement came up at last night’s cohort meeting. I didn’t voice my opinion at the time, but I’ve been thinking about it and I would like to share my thoughts with the world at large (or rather, our three faithful readers).

I can’t say that I’m a really visual person. I don’t like comic books… all of the crazy illustrations and the dialogue set up really confuses me. In the same way, I don’t love my (emerging) church because of the awesome meditations my husband or Scott put together. I appreciate them… they’re always beautiful pieces of art, and they always force you to look at things differently. I like the fact that our (emerging) church is able to integrate different media into our worship services, but that’s not why I love my (emerging) church.

I have always considered myself to be a musical person. That’s not to say that I can play an instrument or read music (because trust me-and my old piano/violin/trumpet teachers-I can’t), but I’ve always connected with music. However, I can’t say that I love my (emerging) church because of the music that we use during worship. Truth be told, I really, really dislike contemporary Christian music (unless we’re talking Duvall. I really like those guys). I prefer to connect with songs that aren’t so in your face about what they’re about. I like the fact that my (emerging) church is able to integrate contemporary popular music (think Green Day, The Killers, and U2) into worship services, but that’s not why I love my (emerging) church.

Wait for it…

I am drawn to and love my (emerging) church for two very simplistic reasons:

(1.) They are a missional group of people. Each day I get up and go to a job that I really don’t care for where I do work that doesn’t make one ounce of difference in anyone’s life. Spending time with people who care enough about the world that they will actually get up and do something about it has been a real blessing to me. I love my (missional, emerging) church because, with them, I find fulfillment in my day-to-day life.

(2.) They are my family. I have never felt as loved by a group as I do by these people. To say that my (church) family is diverse would be quite the understatement. We range in age from 17 months to over 40. We’re made up of college professors, college students, artists, master cooks, computer geeks, rock climbers, writers, feminists, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, cuddly children, and too-cute babies. Each time we gather, I am floored by the intimacy that permeates the room, despite our differences. These people (most of whom I have only known for about a year) jump at the chance to help each other in every aspect of our daily (and not-so-daily) lives. Phone calls are constantly made to check up on those who have been away for us for even a few weeks. When any one person is gone, their absence is felt and their presence is deeply missed. I love my (emerging) church because I have found a home and an extended family with them.

| , , , , |


At Thu Sep 07, 07:44:00 AM GMT-5, Blogger Josh Frank said...

What a beautiful post (and I'm not just saying this because it's my wife!).

I think this is a great testimony to what the church CAN be, and I hope we continue to live it out.

Isn't it interesting that in this case, in the midst of the things we do stylistically that don't necessarily appeal to Jill, the power of the love of God and love of neighbor that is being lived out in our little community is what shines above everything else?

Amen, Jill. Amen.

At Thu Sep 07, 12:05:00 PM GMT-5, Blogger Scott Bader-Saye said...

thanks, jillian! this is a profound description not just of who we are (and try to be) but of what lies at the heart of a lot of emerging communities (even though it's easier to describe the surface differences than these intangible-but-ultimately-important things). i felt great joy as i read this! thank you.

At Thu Sep 07, 12:22:00 PM GMT-5, Blogger demery said...

And your emerging church loves you, too, Jill.

You are a big part of that intimacy and active love.

Thank you so much for sharing!


Post a Comment

<< Home