I Found a Home

I received a call yesterday from someone who wanted to interview me regarding emerging forms of Christian and church expression in Canada. It was a nice talk. He asked me about the community I pastor. I told him what I could. But I could appreciate the frustration this guy must feel when trying to get a grip on what’s happening here. I could tell he understood much of what I was saying. We seem to be on the same page.

He’s making a documentary on the issue. So he asked me questions and I gave him answers as best I could. But I told him that there’s really no way to describe what we’re doing. It’s kind of like asking me how we are as a family. It is never the same. There’s no pamphlets or brochures that we can hand out. He would like to come visit us. But again, I’m always nervous about those kind of things. You can come visit us on a Sunday, but there’s no way you’ll catch what we are about. It has to be lived and experienced to be understood. Our community is unpredictable, spontaneous, bi-polar, and often messy. The music can be good. The coffee may be ready. The room may be warm. But then there’s all the people. Sometimes we’re dealing with suicide, sometimes infidelity, sometimes drunkenness, sometimes drugs, sometimes anger, sometimes heresy, sometimes death, sometimes depression, sometimes silliness, sometimes all the good things too…. well, you get the idea. In fact, I never know from one day to the next where I stand.

Sometimes people visit and leave because, they say, they want to feel like they’ve actually been to church. Some leave because they say that our church is too full of pain. Sometimes they leave because they are offended by the crass humanness of our people. But once in a while they’ll stay, and they are usually people who are totally unchurched or people that have been so burnt by the church but aren’t quite ready to totally abandon it altogether. This is its last chance.

I imagine, at the end of our chapter… if we have one… it will say: “They’re just a gathering of pretty f***ed up people! But I found a home.” Maybe.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Steve

    I like that last line…”They’re just a gathering of pretty f***ed up people! But I found a home”.

    When we get visitors to our small congreagation, I always wonder which one of our many wierdo, wacky, parishoners will spend a few minutes with the visitor, and then we’ll never see them again.

    The Word is strong enough to keep those there that ought to be there.

    It’s primarily the Word and Sacrament that is our reason for gathering. Without that we really are just are a group of f***ed up people, and we might as well gather down the street at Starbucks.

  • fishon

    Our community is unpredictable, spontaneous, bi-polar, and often messy. The music can be good. The coffee may be ready. The room may be warm. But then there’s all the people. Sometimes we’re dealing with suicide, sometimes infidelity, sometimes drunkenness, sometimes drugs, sometimes anger, sometimes heresy, sometimes death, sometimes depression, sometimes silliness, sometimes all the good things too…. well, you get the idea.

    ——Sounds like you are discribing every church in America.
    fishon

  • Dany

    Awesome post, pastor Dave!

  • Richard Mullin

    Great post David — great way to put into words what is difficult to put into words. I’ve been attending Rothesay Vineyard for years and I have a hard time describing our church. I was thinking of fishon’s quote (is fishon a dude or a dudette?)

    “Sounds like you are discribing every church in America”

    That quote is true it is just that church’s try to pretend it is not true by sweeping reality under their religious carpets. Seasoned church people are often immune to seeing this where the unchurched see it right off.

    Richard Mullin

  • Scott

    Yes, David is describing “every church in America.” One potential difference might be their willingness to live fully into it without pretense. They appear, according to David’s reports, to express their vulneraility as human creatures instead of living behind a facade of “Christianity.”

    Scott

  • dj

    i wish i could find a community where my problems and my struggles were viewed as normal rather than something to be embarrassed of. i pray for your and your community that christ is in abundance there

  • sarah

    DJ, I hope so too.

    Here’s to being human.

    Sas x

  • Daisy

    spot on Sarah!
    Thanks too, Dave, for sharing your thoughts, as always, with us.Like dj, i wish I could find a gathering of believers that are ok with being human and arent all about keeping up appearances…Good on you guys. You and your congregation are in my prayers.

    PS Coffee??? I start off whispers in church when I carry water with me!!!

  • http://alexsteinertmiles.blogspot.com Alex Steinert Miles

    Churches these days are like some middle class society gathering

    Thank you dave, for this is what a church should be, to house those “with suicide, sometimes infidelity, sometimes drunkenness, sometimes drugs, sometimes anger, sometimes heresy, sometimes death, sometimes depression, sometimes silliness”

    When will people learn that the church is a hospital where the sick are treated?
    Looks like if i’ll fit just fine in your church Dave!

    Keep abiding in God,
    We’ll never fail to see rising opposition but nothing gives us more joy than to know that we have done everything in accordance to His will.

    I love what you are doing!

  • Fat Radical

    Sounds like your place is like an AA meeting where no one has any self righteous piety to hide behind, I like it, shame I can’t drive there on a Sunday or I might pop in for a visit and a hug.

  • http://butlerbritblog.blogspot.com/ thebutler

    Our very small house church was filmed about two years ago and all they could do was film us talking about being church, eating, and hanging out with people in the red light district (which is something we do regularly as a church).

    We survived it and felt good about going along with it.

    There was some discussion in the TV programme as people from organized churches tried to understand what we doe and why we do it.
    And some who tried to categorize us.

    Some said: you choose your own company, that’s not real church. But we don’t. Anyone can turn up.

    One person said: you need to hear the word preached, otherwise it’s not real church. That was said by a guy who hadn’t been to church in years.

    Some figured we need leadership. But we want Jesus to lead through all of us.

    Some understood. It was interesting to discuss.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    thebutler: fascinating.

  • sarah

    God yes, thebutler, I want Jesus to lead through all of us too.

    Sas x

  • http://myfaithdefined.blogspot.com Nate Peres

    I hope things go well with this.

  • Jacquelyn

    From what I have seen, many people in the churches I’ve been apart of (myself included), spend a lot of energy self-protecting, putting their best foot forward, not letting others get too close (otherwise they might see their defects…)etc.
    I like what Fat Radical said, “Sounds like your place is like an AA meeting where no one has any self righteous piety to hide behind”

  • Blake

    I have found a home in here…


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