Strange morning

We had a very strange morning at church today. First, somebody came looking for money right before the service. He wanted money for a bus ticket. I told him I wouldn't give him money, but I would be glad to go with him to buy the ticket. He refused, and went outside to hit people up for money as they came in. It isn't unusual for someone to come looking for money right before the service, but the timing is a little weird. Then, right as the service started, one of our seniors had a medical emergency and had to be carried out. Emergency personnel responded quickly, and came in with masks due to the SARS outbreak. She's quite elderly - about 91 - and the next 24 hours will be pretty critical to her. We also had a visiting choir, which took over the entire service. Right after the offering, a woman stood up and started calling us all heretics and stuff. The ushers were busy collecting the offering, and I ended up escorting her out. Note to self: usher training required. A medical emergency and a disruption all in one morning. I'm used to a couple of things going wrong, but I was getting a little rattled by the time the third strange event took place. I'm glad to be home; let's just say I'm glad that service is over.

Post-seeker-sensitive

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Sky did not come to know Jesus and become part of a church because of a well-rehearsed drama sketch, polished four-point preaching, flawless programming, or new padded theater seats. It wasn't because of a well-lit, contemporary, bright and cheery church facility where we removed the religious symbols, stained glass, and church atmosphere to make "seekers" more comfortable. It wasn't because we used secular songs in the church meeting so he could relate to them, or cut musical worship to a minimum in the fear that it would cause someone like Sky to be turned off. In fact, Sky experienced almost the opposite... So many of the things I had once worked so hard to eliminate in order to be seeker-sensitive, to avoid offending or confusing a seeker like Sky, were exactly the things he found most influential in his decision to become a Christian. For Sky, seeker-sensitive (style, not lifestyle) approach would have been a complete failure and possibly even detrimental. Sky comes from a generation that grew up in a changing post-Christian culture, a culture different from that of the generations that grew up when the seeker-sensitive movement started. We need to recognize that we are moving into a post-seeker-sensitive era. (Dan Kimball, The Emerging Church)

Polarity

I've had little to add to the war debate that's been raging. I'm overwhelmed that we're all so far apart on the issues. I've always had the naive hope that discussion would lead to common ground, at least agreement on some core issues. Instead, the debate seems to have led to more polarization. It's hit me the past few days as I've read different newspapers and magazines. They have completely different slants (as you'd expect). That's reflected in the Christian blogs and discussions I've been reading. There's so much polarization that it's hard for someone like me to know where to land. I'm not really sure I fit in either camp (although one feels a bit more like home). So I'm praying, with my own limited views and my own limited perspective. It's about the only thing that both sides of the Christian debate can agree to do. Update: You know things are screwy when you pretty much agree with Ed the Sock.

Mostly Martha

martha.jpgIt's dangerous to recommend movies. I've raved about a movie on more than one occasion, and my friends have hated it. Still, it's not going to stop me. We picked up Mostly Martha at the video store tonight. It's about an anal chef whose life is interrupted by her 8-year-old niece and an assistant cook at work. It's a little formulaic, but the soundtrack is great, and there's something about subtitles (the movie's in German). It worked for me. Highly recommended.