Jen and I attend Christ Church of Oronogo in Oronogo, MO. Being a rather charismatic worship leader one would think that I might express myself in the somewhat the same way but not so. I have a journal that Jen made for me 5 years ago. When I finish with papers inside she binds them into a book and refills the leather pouch with a new clean set of brown pages for me to fill. One of my main pathways to God is surely through journaling. This is what I do at church on Sunday mornings. I find myself writing feverishly fast! If someone was to just glance at me they might thing that I was completely unaware of the world around me; but quite the contrary I am engaged completely. I usually only take that specific journal to church and it is reflected by the subject matter that finds its way onto the page. It is much more reflective, praise oriented, big life pictures with lots of thanks and prayers. Today I was reminded of a church in Nashville that I have visited 3 times. Although I have only attended services at Bethel world outreach center my vision for local church art departments has been drastically formed by what I experienced there. “I was born on Saturday and in church on Sunday” to quote Brian Duncan’s “Mr. Bailey had a daughter”. (Check it out if you haven’t). Because Dad has an Otaku (something more than a hobby; but a little bit less than an obsession – from “Purple Cow”) for going to special churches I have a unique church background. We generally attended independent Christian churches; but the Baptist churches had all the great concerts so I frequented many of their services. We attended a church of the Boston Movement for awhile. We attended a non-instrumental church for awhile. We attended an African American gathering of worshipers for some time as well. (It was here I was reared in the proper tempo of hymns.) All of these church communities had something very special and I inherited that element in my own faith walk suitcase. While all Christians are called to an intimate experience with Jesus there is purpose and sacramental quality to our fellowship in the body. When we come together for worship on the first day of the week and call on our Lord to fall upon us (differing from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) we expect a holy encounter. This is my element. I am a community guy. I am recharged in community sometimes more than solidarity. I love God’s design. I love our church. If you are ever in Nashville check out Bethel. What they do is great for them and it can’t be copied everywhere (nor should it); but they have a sense of koninia, in the general assembly time, that is inspiring.

No comments: