Who are we as the Federated Church of Orleans?
How would you describe the Federated Church congregation? In my sermon on Sunday, January 21, which reflected on the story of Jonah and on Jesus’ call of the disciples, I suggested that although we are not an ethnically or racially diverse congregation, we are diverse in many, unex-pected ways. (Here is the weblink to sermon for those who would like to listen: For instance:
We are passionate social justice advocates who want our worship to be justice-based We do not feel that social justice should be a part of the church’s worship We have Unitarian leanings; Jesus is not as important to us and we prefer not to have much emphasis on Jesus in worship We are very Trinitarian and we like, indeed feel it is crucial, for worship to be Christ-centered. We like to hear about sophisticated ideas in worship We prefer worship to be feeling-based We are clergy We are lay people We like the Bible and feel it should be prominent in worship We do not have much interest in the Bible and do not relate to Scripture readings We want the church to respond to the global needs of the world We prefer a local emphasis for the church We want deep and edgy worship and programs We want worship and programs to be light-hearted and fun We like the Red Sox We like the Yankees And the list goes on….
What to do?
We each have different expectations of what the church and worship should be. We each have dif-ferent wants and needs that we desire of the church and worship. And given all the anxiety and stress of our nation and world, which we listen to every day in the news, and given the anxiety and stress of our individual lives, we all understandably want and need the church and its worship and programs to be exactly what speaks to us alone.
Sounds like a big jigsaw puzzle to me! But I love jigsaw puzzles, so let’s take up the challenge of our diversity together. It will take patience and wisdom and lots of love for each other, but let’s be open to the new ideas and new ways of doing things that God is calling us to embrace. We may resist the path that God wants us to take (just like Jonah did), but God has a mission for us as church. Let’s open our hearts to God’s leading together!
Love and Blessings,