Church is the People

21Sep04

Despite what you think re: homosexaulity in the church and the current debacle in the Episcopal Church (and to a somewhat lesser, though increasing, degree in the United Methodist Church and PCUSA), the angst that this is forcing people to rethink “what is church”. And while there are surely many different opinions (I have plenty just myself) recapturing the church as the People of God is certainly a redemptive outcome of the whole mess. Take, for instance, this quote from Christianity Today (written, I might add, by our good friend KK 🙂 :

So, Who Owns the Sanctuary?

“Though it has been a painful process, neither Woodall or Tuttle nor the other members of the new Gove Community Bible Church regret the decision to leave the denomination.

‘It was difficult. We weren’t really fighting for the buildings. We were fighting for the moral values,’ Tuttle says. ‘The United Methodists got the building, and we got the church. The church is the people.'”

Interestingly, this messy situation hits close to home. I grew up in a United Methodist Church in the small town of Paris, KY and worked at First UMC in Hamilton, OH as a youth minister after college. During college Sarah and I attended Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, KY, an Episcopal Church (and the diocese that Gene Robinson is from). Then during seminary we were part of St. David’s Episcopal Church in North Hollywood, CA. St. David’s is one of the three parishes in LA who have left the denomination – click to read more about that.

Now, of course, we’re part of Vineyard Central in Norwood, OH. My heart breaks for those on both sides of the debate. Divisiveness in God’s church is never a good thing, but neither is unfaithfulness. Its a hard and disturbing place we are in as the church in USA.

Lord, have Mercy.

Christ, have Mercy.

Lord, have Mercy on us!

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