Tuesday, May 19, 2009

LC's Adventures in Ecumenicism Continue

It's been a busy week here, as we continue to condense our two homes into one. We've been cleaning out packing boxes, closets, cupboards -- getting serious about things we want, things we need and things we need to give to someone else.

The other morning we stopped at the local mission to unload a couple bags of clothes. This mission is run by a highly exciteable self-identified "sister" of unknown denominational affiliation who's notorious for her frequent right-wing, homophobic rants in the local newspaper. We normally eschew this mission for the larger and more professionally run mission connected to our local Roman Catholic parish, but on this particular day we wanted to quickly unload our baggage, so we drove around the corner to The Sister's place. I volunteered to walk into the place and engage with the staff, and steeled myself in preparation to meet The Sister and her church-lady volunteers.

As I stepped through the service entrance, my foot met air -- I hadn't noticed the drop-off -- and literally fell into the midst of several older women sorting through a tableful of clothing.

"LutheranChik! Are you all right?" The voice was familiar. I looked up to find an ex-coworker of mine -- a similarly scarred veteran of my former place of employment.

After we determined that I was uninjured from my mosh-pit dive into the back room, we got to talking about what we'd been doing for the past few years. My friend had heard that I'd been involved in lay ministry training, so I talked to her about some of the things I've been doing at our church.

"Might you be interested in leading worship at another church sometime?" my friend asked. It seems her own Church of the Brethren congregation was between pastors, and her husband had been tasked with finding supply preachers for the summer.

Now, keep in mind that, prior to my grand entrance, I was crabby and defensive and determined to spend a minimum amount of time dealing with anyone in that place. Also keep in mind that Lutherans and members of the historic peace churches have had a difficult and occasionally violent relationship over the years.

I came out of the building grinning. FT, who'd been waiting in the car, shook her head. "I heard you laughing in there. Don't tell me you met someone else you know?" FT is always amazed at my ability to run into people I know, no matter where we travel. So I told her the whole story. She thought it was great. So did our pastor, this past Sunday, when I asked him if it would be okay to do a little ecclesiastical cross-pollination.

This might be fun.


toujoursdan said...

If I had a dollar for every clumsy entrance I make like yours, I would be richer than Bill Gates. Great story. I felt like I was there.

backrowbass said...

Sounds like a great opportunity. I'm a bit jealous. I never seem to drop far from the Anglican tree (I'm certainly not going 'home' to the RCC.)
I should visit K's home church, which is LCMS. That'd be interesting!

Mary Beth said...

This is awesome! You go girl!

Tom in Ontario said...

One of my seminary professors once said, tongue half in cheek, that we've got all the correct theology but it's the Mennonites and those in their tradition (the peace churches) that go and stand themselves between the warring factions in the Middle East. Why aren't we doing that?

I find that for all of our differences, many of which I'm often extremely prejudicial about, we do have things to learn from each other.

zorra said...

I love it.