February 04, 2008

Looking Ahead to February 10, 2008 -- 1st Sunday of Lent

This week we begin our Lenten series The 5 Ws of Church.

This week being the beginning of a new season we will celebrate the sacrament of Communion. We will be serving in the seats instead of through intinction this time.

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • From the Jewish Scriptures: Amos 5:21-27
  • Psalm 63 (VU p.781)
  • From the Gospel: John 21:10-17

The hymns this week are:

  • #457 As We Gather at Your Table
  • MV #1 Let Us Build a House (verses 1-3) (insert)
  • #332 The Church’s One Foundation
  • #481 Sent Forth by God’s Blessing

The Sermon title is What is the church?

Early Thoughts: Social club? Meditation Center? Political Action Center? Drop-in Center? Rites of Passage Co-Ordinator? All of the above?

The church is, at various times and in various places, all of these things. IT is a social club, it is a politicl action centre, it serves as a place to mark rites of passage. And all of those are good things. THe time when problems arise is when we get unbalanced or lose sight of our focus.

AT its heart the church is, of course, the gathered community of faith (next week we will talk about where and when the community is gathered). THis is what separates it from secular versions of all those options listed above. While we do all those things we do it from the vantage point of faith. We do what we do because we feel that GOd is calling us to do it. And so we hope that we do it in a different way, with a different experience than the local coffee shop (social club) or the Parenting centre (drop in) or the quiet place by the lake (meditation) or the Town hall meeting (political action) or any other gathering in our community.

HOw well do we keep the difference alive? Well that is the challenge isn't it. THis Sunday we will chat about how we are all those things and more as we ask ourselves "What is this church thing anyhow?" WOn't you join us, and join in the discussion?

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