RevGalBlogPal SingingOwl offers this challenge:
Please pardon me for talking about church in the summer when many of you may be on vacation. However, the church we are talking about today is the one you dream of. I've been thinking about this because I miss pastoring and preaching, because I am sending in resumes, and because...well...jut because. So have some fun with this. Tell us five things that the perfect church would have, be, do...whatever.
We can dream, right?
Should I be serious or ironic? Or both?
Okay. Here goes, in no particular order:
Five Unrealistic Wish Dreams For a Church
1. In my perfect church we would have a comprehensive program for catechesis/spiritual formation that would include easy entry points for newbies as well as challenge and support for us long-haulers, and strong support for "the domestic church" -- for giving households the tools and support to (re-)sacralize lhome life. And our "Lutheran from home" members would finally shed the idea that one graduates from religious education/spiritual formation at confirmation.
2. In my perfect church we would be a more active, open spiritual and practical go-to community resource for the people who live in our church neighborhood, no matter what their affiliation or level of connection to our congregation...we would be a place that neighbors would think of as their neighborhood church. And this would be a two-way street -- with our lay leadership "getting out there" into the 'hood with the pastor, as well as neighbors visiting us. I'm thinking of the old-school model of, say, my dad's childhood church, which really was the hub of his rural neighborhood.
3. My perfect church would have a music program that wouldn't have to be of symphony-hall quality but would be something competent and worship-oriented.
4. My perfect church would be diverse -- a lively mix of gender, ages, economic levels, life experiences.
5. My perfect church would have excellent coffee. No stale Maxwell House in the industrial-size can, rationed out to last the better part of a year -- nosirree. We're talking Green Mountain or Just Coffee or some other righteously-grown-yet-skillfully-roasted java.
Just a few things.