Ahh, the places our meanderings take us.
Our ending up at Crosswalk Community Church this morning started with Farmergirl and I going to Kaleo without Michael (he was on the Cursillo weekend), and me poking around, looking at the “Emergent/Emerging” movement, then finding the Spokane Emergent Cohort, and finding Crosswalk from there. (We can’t really double back to Kaleo without going to another service somewhere, under the paradigm of the 52 Churches project, and we’re suffering from some pretty vicious headcolds — the kind your don’t wish even on your worst enemy, so it was off to Crosswalk this morning for us).
As it turns out, the Cohort page is run by Scott Ellis, the music leader at Crosswalk, who also writes some of the music they do, including a song Michael particularly liked, a copy of which Scott very generously gave him (and which, for the second or third time, he’s just emerged from the green room having played. I think he’s trying to solidify it in his mind before he leaves on yet another plane in the morning. Now he’s whistling in the loft, filing papers).
The service included a time of singing, prayer, more singing, the sermon, and a closing song and benediction. The service music and sermon title were projected on the screen in the front, so the half-page “bulletin” contents were the announcements (including that their service with communion isn’t until next week — which was kind of a bummer — we’re probably back into a lean time on that in the project, unless we become more purposeful in our choices of where to go). The sermon was the fourth part of a series on Galatians (Galatians 2:1-10, specifically). It was very polished, and we ended up wondering, at about the same point in the sermon, if or not it was original. I’ve concluded I can’t take the heartache of finding a sermon that isn’t, so we asked the pastor, Mike, after the service, if or not his sermon was original (it was). He told us a story about a church he’d previously served at, where he and another member of the leadership team had discovered the senior pastor was using unoriginal material, so they’d quote it at the staff meetings in the week leading up to the sermon. He indicated the pastor was vexed by this, but didn’t change his practice. In the sermon this morning, though, there were several gems (which you’ll be able to read at the Crosswalk site in the near future), but I wanted to share this on in particular, as it was one both Michael and I scribbled in our notes: “You’re free because Jesus says you are — and his words have spoken entire worlds into being.”
At the door, the person who greeted us asked how we’d found the church. I mentioned the Cohort, and the music leader approached us and said, “Hey! Don’t run off after the service — I’d like to talk to you.” So we stayed and chatted with a few folks. Michael was particularly animated in the conversation . . . I asked Michael why let he loose this morning. He was very talkative about the project, about where we’ve been, and where we might be headed, about life and the church and all sorts of theological things . . . he narrowed his eyebrows at me and said, “It seemed like they would get it.” And it certainly felt like they did.
I think this is the first church where we’ve told anyone that we’ve been writing about the project. It’s not a secret . . . we just haven’t really announced it anywhere we’ve gone. Teresa has bets on if or not we’ll end up on the vestry of some church before the year is out. I say that can’t possibly happen, as we haven’t been anywhere more than once (with the exception of ECOR, which our priest there is calling our “spiritual PO box”). So the chance that we’d accidentally end up in leadership is pretty slim. But I think we are missing the connections that consistently fellowshipping with a faith community brings, as evidenced, in part by Michael’s response to the folks from the congregation we talked with after the service, and his offer of labour and technology to help set up a computer lab for their budding afterschool program. I’m not ready to concede this as a win for Teresa, but I think it points to the kind of connection you feel when you find people of like mind.
On a completely different note: they had cookies and coffee and tea in the foyer, but during the announcements, the pastor said that no one had signed up for or brought cookies this morning. He said that a member of the congregation had foiled his plans by popping around the corner to Safeway to get the ones that were there, because he thought that, without cookies, there would be a riot in the congregation, and a stampede to sign up to bring cookies. So, he concluded, next week . . . riot time (but the sign up sheet was out on the bulletin board, should anyone want to forgo the ensuing cookie violence).