New churches? do what you can

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In my last post, I mentioned two things that cheered me, and that the second was a lunchtime conversation with an office mate.

He helped me process a basic conflict I have with my planned new church start which, if the conflict continues will surely mean nothing will come of it.

On the one hand, I need help to get this thing started. The weekly lectionary lessons exercise shows that I don't have the surplus time to work on this church, and I have no intention of giving up my very fulfilling day job. Serious help comes with the expectation that the church would be "full service": an infelicitous term, better applied to gas stations, intending to suggest paid staff, complex programs and buildings. And I could make the leap to "go there" if -- this is the other hand -- I had faith that there would be the help I needed. But since those who care about such things are still talking about the need to change Unitarian Universalist culture, I don't think I can rely on the general fellowship to come through. And then there's the baggage of expectations -- with money comes influence, even if indirect -- which means I might have to compromise my vision to get support.

Thus the feedback: in essence, do what you can. Something is better than nothing. Something can be built-upon (unlike nothing). Not rocket science, but it needs to be said.

2 Replies to “New churches? do what you can”

  1. The corollary to “do what you can” is, of course, “start from where you are”, which seems to be in a place of fulfilling stability on one end that will let you play with the edges at the other. Good place.

    Maybe that gas station metaphor came up for a reason and has more mileage in it than you think. The 21st century opposite of “full service” is not “self service”. Rather, the full service station has morphed into the convenience stop. I’m thinking not about the 7-11 with a couple of gas pumps or the service station that sells coffee and a few snacks, but places like Wawa and Sheetz that are clean, bright, efficient, and capable of attending to a variety of personal and vehicular needs. Nothing is too expensive there, and the sandwiches and coffee are always fresh, whether you’re making the long haul in the middle of the night or filling up on the way to work.

  2. If I had money to give I would give it. If I lived in DC I would donate time to participate in it, and join it. But neither are true, and so most of what I can do is to cheer from afar.

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