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global presence, life, religion, women in ministry

what is it about church?

postsecretI was in the Parent’s Room at Quest this morning, chatting with a family from Tanzania who have come to the U.S. to study.  As their two and a half year old son played, the father marveled at how many people were sitting in service.  He shared of his experience performing concerts at churches around Europe (he’s entering a PhD program in ethnomusicology), where people didn’t come to church on Sundays, but only for special events.  He wondered if having people actually come to Sunday worship was typical here in the United States.

I shared that many people choose to come to church here, but some churches are much like the European cathedrals he visited: empty.  As he shared about the two services needed for the small church in his home village, we struggled to find common language, and attempted to explain why people wanted to worship in our respective cultures.  I spoke of community, family, and maybe in a culture where we don’t live close to our biological families perhaps we find comfort, support, and a sense of home within our spiritual families.  He shared of the worship, the music, and how more and more people have been coming to his home church recently. He also shared a few of the topics he’s usually invited to lecture about outside of music, one of which entailed a philosophical discussion of how people in Africa see God interacting with life.  I wonder how we see God interacting with life, and if church is part of that exchange.

Why do you worship? Where do you worship?

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “what is it about church?

  1. As a female and a wife, church for me has become a very difficult experience, first due to past experiences of church expectations to “submit” as a woman and a mother to a situation in marriage which in no way met my needs and could take care of my children. My saga is quite involved but suffice to say, I am extremely sensitive to anyone even suggesting to me that God did not create me, as a woman, equal in identity and authority, according to call as determined by the Holy Spirit alone.

    God has in fact caused this to be the center-piece of my faith walk. He led me, while at a point of complete despair and with total intent to withdraw from faith, through the garden word, and proceeded to open up for me an entirely new world. Prior to this moment, I literally sat in tears, Bible opened, exposing all of my wounds and asking, no pleading for the Father to show me exactly who and what He declares according to His word, I am to be.

    The Holy Spirit then led me verse by verse, and line by line, to make the connections which prove man to be the liar and God to be true. What am awesome time, I will simply never forget it.

    The garden word is as intertwined as it is miraculously concise and simple. The biggest stumbling block is in emptying your mind enough about what man had imaged, and propagated, and yet focusing only upon all that which we know is true of God.

    What I received, was that the traditional garden interpretation first errs when it ceases to first exalt God but first exalts man instead. Yet if you study the garden scriptures, focusing upon first only what God actually does and says, and secondly upon individual demonstrations in righteousness only the word comes alive and gone are the contradictions which make God into both a liar and a respecter of persons. Please visit my blog page and feel free to let me know what you think. I am always open to contructive dialogue and greatly appreciate fellowship among Christians whenever I can get it.

    I have been away from actually attending church for quite sometime, it has been a difficult healing process for me, but I feel a push in the spirit to find a new home for worship. It will of course be egalitarian in nature.

    In His Care,

    Dawn Davidson

    Posted by gettherealskinnyoneve | March 30, 2009, 5:28 am
  2. Dawn, thanks for sharing. It sounds like God has brought you through an amazing journey. I look forward to following your blog and hearing more as you continue sharing your story. Your word about how God showed you a true picture of your identity is something I can really relate to. Do you feel it has changed the way you view other people as well?

    I pray you continue to find life-giving fellowship with other Christians! Blessings to you sister!

    Leah

    Posted by leahklug | March 31, 2009, 11:04 pm

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About Me

wife, partner, daughter, and sister. traveler on the journey of faith. rage against the machiner. sometimes pastor.

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