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I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On reading the New York Times

Every now and then I buy a New York Times and read it page-by-page. (I realize the way the newspaper industry is going these days, I may have to find a new hobby.) So the front page is about the new Roman Catholic Bishop, and some of his struggles. One is the closing of local parishes in and around New York City. In congregations there are not enough people to keep them viable, and in places like Manhattan, it would be more profitable to sell the property than to keep the community. It seems some of the parishes don't want to close, and so people worship on the sidewalks, and hold prayer vigils for the churches, hoping the diocese won't close their community. OK...sign of the times.

However, a couple of pages later there is an op-ed piece by a young, former ad executive who lives in Manhattan, who laments that since she has lost her job she has no one to talk with anymore. She even rents space in a "pretend" office in order to get some camaraderie into her life. OK...sign of the times number 2.

If I get this right, here's my summary: you have one group of New Yorkers saying "Don't close our community, just because there are no people," and across the street you have people saying "If we only had a community..." Really? No one in New York City can figure this out? No one cares enough about the irony to do anything about it? Where is "Sister Mary Clarence" when you need her? One of the things we try to do at Prairie Table is provide the community and the people with a place to gather...a place to connect...a place for camaraderie. Unlike many other churches we do not make you worship God to connect with people, but rather use our connections with people to worship God. We may close Prairie Table someday, but our camaraderie will live on, not only with each other, but most importantly with our God.

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