As Alan so eloquently noted on our other blog, as we are in the process of planting Sinners and Saints, visiting local churches on Sundays is our new hobby. Somehow, it has only been two Sundays since leaving Quest, and technically Sunday number one was spent at the Burke Museum with my dad. Sunday number two was a visit to a neighborhood big box church.
Sunday morning dawned cold and clear, so we bundled up and walked to the large University District church for the second of their five Sunday services. We were cheerfully greeted by two greeters with name badges, and ushered into the large stained glass sanctuary just in time for the first choir (of three!) to start the Christmas music. After all those years at Quest in a converted warehouse and a 1950’s era church building, a classically beautiful stained glass and stone sanctuary complete with concert organ was a bit jarring. As the service went on, we both felt lulled into a slight stupor. The space was warm, the decorations beautiful, singing on key, and nothing was asked of us. We were there, but we were not needed. It was a little too perfect. Don’t get me wrong, it was an amazing service and I’m sure that at a church that size, transitions and prayers need to be carefully planned and manged. But there was no room for us to see ourselves as part of that community or as part of that perfect service.
Over the next few weeks, we look forward to visiting more churches, and continuing to dream of creating a new church home. A community of folks who aren’t perfect, a place where visitors and regulars can see themselves in the story and worship God together, offering the gifts they have been given.