I am accustomed to homogeny at church. All my life I have attended nearly-all-white congregations of mostly affluent people. Meanwhile, I have always heard talk of what church could (or should?) be like: rich and poor, black and white, all worshipping Jesus together. I have heard that this is what church will be like one day, when we're all in glory together. But I haven't experienced this ideal.
It really happened. There were poor people and rich people, black people and white people, and we all sat together. We worshipped, and we listened to a sermon, and we took communion. Together. In the sermon, Jonathan talked about racism and poverty and homelessness and this church being a place that welcomes everybody.
This church takes place outside, for a few reasons. First, there isn't much space indoors to fit so many people. But second, Jonathan said that those that are homeless must deal with the elements on a daily basis. So those of us who aren't homeless have an opportunity to briefly enter their world as we worship together. And we did, because on Sunday the sun was really bright -- and hot.
As I have reflected on this new church, rather than feeling all warm and fuzzy, I feel mostly uncomfortable. Doing church differently is hard for me. I am used to the air-conditioned indoors and the way I have always done "church."
And I am realizing that pursuing the ideal kind of church -- where different kinds of people come together -- is hard. For me at least, it is harder than homogeny. Even still, I hope to persist.
There is so much more that could be said and there will be to come on Church at the Square. In the meantime, you are all invited!
For more information about the church, including when and where we meet, click here.