If you’ve read previous blog posts, you will know we have been speaking with people in our community. I am fairly certain that if I were able to hold worship in the midst of an apartment complex, many people would come to join us. There are many people who used to be part of a church or a faith community but no longer are. There are others who have never been to church but might consider visiting. And many, many people who do not have a practice of attending weekly worship. It’s just not in their imagination or in their reality. It’s not a habit or custom for them.
But, people have a deep longing for community. They have a deep longing to hear about the love of God and forgiveness through Christ that is for them. They have a deep longing to hear the Word. Palabra! They might not know this. We might not know this, but this is true. (See below for a bilingual adaptation of a poem by Sylvia Purdie’s found here: Song of the Stars).
People have this longing, but they are not necessarily going to GO somewhere to find it. So, how might WE GO into the neighborhood and BE COMMUNITY with our community.
Now, I’m an idea person. This is the idea that is forming, not only in my head, but in conversations with my Leadership Team and with other church leaders.
…we rent out a storefront in a place that’s:
- where the people are
- highly visible
- on a bus line
- has flexible space
…we discover our people’s gifts and talents and
- empower them to flourish in community
- build competence and confidence rooted in Christ’s love
- share with others
…we begin to foment economic justice for people left out of our mainstream economy by
- working together to identify gifts
- collaborate with other local churches, agencies, organizations and businesses to build capacity
- promoting people in ways that enable them to share their gifts
- build a speakers bureau so these lovely voices that are often not heard may be heard by those who need to hear them
…we create a space that’s
And what if there is always free coffee and all space or classes are providing on a sliding-fee scale? And what if prayer and fellowship and conversation are always available for whoever walks through the door? And what if all of the churches in our community collaborated with us to be community in our community?
Here is our bilingual adaptation of the poem:
Psalm 19: Song of the Stars
The universe shouts your Word! Palabra!
What language do stars speak?
Words! Palabras! of vast emptiness and infinite distance,
Words! Palabras! of brilliant light and constant explosion,
whirling words! Palabras!, ancient words! Palabras! alien words ! Palabras!
Around one Word! Palabra! we spin –
the Sun, light of our world,
cruising in glory across the sky;
colours all things, warms all things.
Around God’s Word ! Palabra! we gather –
the Son, light of the world.
His way finds the lost
his truth opens blind eyes~Su manera!
his life conquers death~Su vida!
his bread feeds our hunger~Su pan!
his Spirit fills hearts with joy~Su Espíritu!
his desire burns away greed~Su deseo!
his touch is sweeter than honey.~Su toque!
May our lives shout your Word! ! Palabra!
in all we say, in all we do
out in the open or hidden in the dark.
May our lives sing your Word! ! Palabra!
in the secrets of our soul,
in trouble, in shame, in confidence.
Shine brightly, Lord
and hold us in your orbit. ! Palabra!