I spent Sunday’s worship service helping out in the nursery. At one point, we headed outside to let the kids play on the playground and I stayed in the covered area with Elijah. It was an unusual worship service that focused on prayer, and a few youth had opted to hang out in the back with their skateboards instead of participating. I was sitting there with my baby when I saw a group of three youth come around from the other side of the building carrying skateboards and I realized that they must be in the practice of hopping the fence to skate behind the school.
We didn’t talk much. I mostly enjoyed watching them practice different jumps, and our two boys joined in with what they were doing. The whole skateboarding culture here still cracks me up. It brings back too many of my own memories of junior high.
As I watched them skate, I thought about our friends who joined our church family as a result of meeting us in the park where we met and they slept. Warm coffee and good food shared opened the door to meaningful relationships: with us and with Jesus. I was bummed when I saw that we didn’t have any food this week after the service because I wanted to invite these boys in for something to eat.
There is something good about being a sojourning church. There is something Acts-like in moving about, colliding with people in their everyday pursuits. Mark Galli wrote an interesting post on the importance of a building from his Anglican perspective. He writes:
Every Anglican parish is an icon of Israel, a people with a unique call from God to not wander but to settle down, not to live in exile in strange places, but to gather together on a certain piece of land where Jesus will take on flesh and dwell among them, a place that will become holy.
When I consider Church of the Redeemer, and the community that makes us, it makes sense that we wander: that our “space” speaks of what it means to be aliens; that we sit outside a land of milk and honey and still we choose to worship.