When I was growing up in Sunday School I remember learning a song that went "I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together. . . ." and "The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place. The church is a people."
I believe that. The church is not just a building; the church is a people.
But I also find that there are some strong reasons why I feel that we need to have churches that are both people and buildings, and even commit financial resources to them, as we're discerning the call to be Christ's presence in the world in the next generation. It's odd for me, probably for many in my "boomer" generation, to find ourselves stepping into the time of life when we become at once the "pillars" and the "old-timers" in leadership in our churches (Here I am on the vestry! And chairing the 50th anniversary committee!) - and the challenge is to be open to the change the Holy Spirit is always inviting, while also letting ourselves be shaped by the monastic virtue that the Benedictines called "stability."
My more fully formulated musings on this are posted on "Episcopal Cafe" today -- do go there and comment if you're so inclined. I'm kind of curious about how my musings on this strike people.
- Kathleen Henderson Staudt
- I work as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of institutions in the DC area. My teaching focuses in various ways on writing, poetry, Spirituality and Christian vocation and ministry - especially from the point of view of the laity. I also offer classes and retreats encouraging people to explore their inner lives, engage their creativity and reflect on their beliefs about God, vocation, and how we can discern and pursue new ways to transform our broken world. I enjoy speaking of faith in the secular academy as well as reminding those preparing for ministry in the Church that our primary purpose is to love and serve the world beyond the church's doors. I love helping people to grow in faith and to find their own voices, and I also love encouraging them to use their minds. I see no contradiction between these impulses, believing as I do that faith, reason and creativity work together.