Sunday, February 28, 2010

Days 11 and 12: God in the Whirlwind

We have just had the most amazing weekend. I haven't had time to miss Facebook, which is saying something, because every other day of my "fast" I have really missed it.

Friday night, a group of folks interested in starting a new Presbyterian church in Knoxville met at our house to explore possibilities. There were 11 adults and 6 children. Everyone shared a strong desire to be part of a group that could pray for each other, and wasn't afraid to be "real" with one another. They want to start doing mission rather than just talking about it. They also want a safe place to explore and question their faith, and they want to worship in new ways, because they are tired of traditional church.

This morning our group attended church with a predominantly African American congregation in the center of town. They are a congregation of about 50 members, the product of a recent merge of two churches. The service flowed beautifully; there were children making happy noises and no one gave them the "evil eye." Everyone, and I mean everyone sang the hymns with gusto. And the members were warm and welcoming, without even acting shocked that 10 white people had suddenly appeared in their midst. Afterward, the pastor gave us a tour and showed us a room that would be perfect for our worshipping community. He said once the renovations are finished it could be our space, to use for whatever purposes we might have. He also told us that several of their members would probably like to be part of what we're doing, and the pianist would be interested in participating if we would have him. Our group was so excited to hear all of this, and you could feel the Spirit as everyone looked around, imagining worship in this amazing space that was being offered to us without our even asking.

Afterward we gathered in the home of one group member and shared lunch, and made a plan for gathering together through Lent. I must admit I'm blown away by how all of this is falling into place. If ever there was a time when God was making moves, I think it is now. No one is trying to push their own agenda, instead all seem to genuinely want something greater, a real relationship with the Lord. For once, I do not feel the need to coerce people into church attendance, or into service of some kind. They are gathering because they feel drawn to Christ in this way. It is beautiful to witness.

I don't have any grand theological insights today, but wanted to share this story of something new unfolding in our town. I can't remember a time when I have felt so swept away by the Spirit into new territory. I have absolutely no idea where this is all going to end up, but amazingly I feel no anxiety. Thanks be to God!


  1. Hi, Sophie's Child! I wanted to let you know that blogs are not eligible to join RevGalBlogPals until they have been active for three months, I pointed to your blog at our Meet and Greet today. Hopefully you'll get some visitors! We're having a discussion about Lenten disciplines, and I hope you will join us.

  2. I got your link through RevGals, and I'm enjoying your posts!

    I too am giving up fb for Lent (deactivated it), and it is difficult! I no longer know how to relax by doing something mindless, and instead of fb, I resort to shutting my mind off with things like napping or doing the dishes...

    But I love your thoughts on text-messaging God and the narcissim that fb status updates entail.

    Look forward to more!

  3. Thanks for checking out the blog, Rev Gals! Songbird, sorry I didn't follow protocol, I will drop in and check out your Lenten devotional discussion, which sounds interesting. Do I need to remove the script from my page, or do you have control over that? Let me know, I want to make sure it's all decent and in order. ;) Thanks for your patience with me.

  4. Hey there! I have to admit I haven't visited over here from your link on FB, but since I saw you introduced over at RevGals, I definitely had to make the visit today. Welcome to this group even if you're "unofficial" for now.

    (By the way, did you see AR this weekend? The cowboys would still would have won, but if we had been in it, we would have rocked that navigational challenge. Read the directions, people! It's not that hard!)

  5. Do you think you'll keep up the blog after Lent? Or move to another one? If you do the latter, you can have "credit" for this one toward your three months. Really what we're looking for is an established blogging history.
    (In the meantime, I'll just look the other way.)

  6. Songbird, I plan to start a new blog after Lent about a New Church Development project that we're beginning here (mentioned in the last blog entry) so yes, I will be doing a blog. I am BRAND NEW to the blogging world, except for one I kept for our newspaper when I was a columnist 3 years ago. Thanks for the credit and for being so gracious!
    What's Up "She Rev"!! I haven't watched AR yet. But seriously, when ARE we going to apply? We would so completely blow everyone away. aNd I think folks have forgotten the 'other' pastor team by now..... I say strap on a BAby Bjorn and let's go!

  7. you're obviously not trying to be anonymous, right, what with your name in the URL and all? So if we know you as Liz we can just call you that? ;-)

    Will you be back on FB after Easter? cuz I really want to hear more about this NCD and I suspect FB will be more active than the new blog in that area...(at least, that's been true at my established church!) Or maybe we can email...

  8. Oh - - I kinda like pretending her name isn't up there!

    Lemme get this one popped out and off the boob and I'll be close to due for a sabbatical. How about AR for THAT???? Will Lilly cover that?

  9. Congrats, SC! This sounds like a very exciting group. I'm sure you're up on all the emerging church stuff, but having just had Phyllis Tickle here for our Diocesan Convention, it's cool to hear about you doing emerging church kinds of things. Yay you! Yay, God! Yay, cool new church stuff!

  10. Thanks, MH! And Teri it's totally cool to call me by my real name. I just thought Sophie's Child sounded cool. And Yes, I'll be back on FB after Easter. I'd love to talk NCD with you! Do any of you know where we might start a decent website for free? I have NO experience in that realm and any advice would be greatly appreciated.