When I went to Greenbelt this year, I really enjoyed listening to the talks; I found them challenging and they made me think and question what I believed.
I enjoyed joining with others at Beer and Hymns and singing the classic songs (and the not so classics). I liked the feel of the community.
I think it is really important to talk to others about my beliefs, my doubts, my struggles and the things I’ve found that really encourage me.
So why don’t I go to church?
I suppose it is because I don’t find church as a place where I can talk to others about the doubts, where I can join with others to sing the songs because everyone wants to and everyone enjoys singing them. Where I can meet up with people who have different beliefs but who accept me. Somewhere where the conversation is about how we can help, how we can offer change, how we can change, why we have traditions and if they are still important.
I suppose some of these things come from when you go to a church for a long time and get involved in all the side groups… but I don’t see these things as something that happens during Sunday morning services.
Peter Rollins talks about the church being another product in a world of products that offer happiness and contentment. If church doesn’t work maybe you need a new Iphone. Church offers a way out, a mask over reality, a weekly fix to get you through the real world of Monday to Saturday.
Maybe I am jaded. Sometimes as ‘the daughter of the minister’ people have mistaken my views, my doubts, my questions for those of my father. It may come as a surprise to some people that my parents and I do not share all the same opinions on things. People shouldn’t talk to me in order to get a feel for what my parents think on things.
Church be a place where you can be real with others about who you are. Church should be a safe place where we can all admit we are broken. After all, we wouldn’t need Jesus if we weren’t broken people.