HandsI’ve been spending a lot of time on memory lane this week. Tomorrow is the 11th anniversary of my ordination. (I reflect on it here, if you want to read.) As I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be community, what it means to be church, what it means to be a pastor in God’s church, I was drawn to posts from our bloggers who seem to be wondering some of the same things.

In her blog Saint Sinner Seeker, Deb Mechler appreciates the desire for community sparked by a choir that appeared on America’s Got Talent last week. “You could take your longing for beloved community seriously and demand better of us in the church. You can ask questions, and raise the expectations for hospitality, and find ways to make that beautiful music of worship and works of compassion with other people in your local church.  You need this, and our country, our world needs this.” 

Being church doesn’t always call for a crowd. Sometimes, community comes in the form of one person doing what God created them to do. In the Lajoy Family blog, Cindy Lajoy reflects on the process of helping her mother navigate the transition from independent living to residential care. As you read the blog post, you will get to meet a woman named Dee. “God oozes from her pores, literally.  No, not in constant Christian-speak, but in little acts of kindness toward every single person she meets… This woman ensconced in a bed with bright pink sheets by the window in the last room down the hall draws people to her because even in this circumstance, she knows she can be used.”

Derek Maul, in his blog of the same name, offers a view into what the church looks like when it is fully being the church. “So I’m thinking maybe my next book title should be, ‘Life is difficult, faith doesn’t change that, love wins anyway…’ being a Christian doesn’t give us a free pass but instead means that we get to participate in God’s initiatives of grace, and healing, and mercy, and restoration.”

In her blog Signs-along-the-Way, St. Inukshuk notices beloved community in the presence of twin boys who have been “a handful” at VBS. They were asked to demonstrate an activity, which they completed despite a bit of a struggle. “When the next child went up, those two twin boys – shouted his name, and go and yay! They cheered every single child in the group as they took their turns. They were the cheering section and got the others to cheer for each one. The very gift of encouragement displayed, given, lived and offered. They have that gift of encouragement a thousand-fold!”

Diane Roth recalls her life as a missionary in Japan in her blog Faith in Community. Wrestling with images of colonialism and intolerance that often accompany the image of missionary, she offers us this alternate reflection. “Here’s what it meant to me to be a missionary: It meant being curious… It meant being humble… It meant being an outsider… It meant thinking outside the box… It meant being transformed.” Not at all a bad description of being church.

This is just a small sampling of posts from over 300 blogs by members of the RevGalBlogPals blog roll. There are nearly 100 new posts just this week. Please click through these links and the button labeled “Our RevGals Blogging Community” to experience them for yourself. And when you visit a blog, please Like it or leave a comment, so that the author will know you have been there. May you experience the living, breathing church in your life this week.

Barbara Bruneau is a retired Lutheran pastor, living in southeastern Minnesota and currently serving in interim ministry. She is a knitter, a weaver, and a very occasional blogger at An Explosion of Texture and Color.

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