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A big red door is not enough

A big red door is not enough

Rhonda Waters writing in the Anglican Journal discusses a generation that is not hostile to church – they just don’t know it exists:

I have ceased to be surprised when people tell me they didn’t know there was a church beside the Bay store on St. Catherine’s Street, probably the busiest pedestrian street in Montreal. For more than a few people, we are simply invisible, in spite of the fact that the church takes up an entire city block.

RhondaWaters_Porous-Church4.pngThis invisibility is both a serious problem and a great opportunity. It tells us that the church has become so irrelevant in the lives of many Montrealers that they don’t even notice our existence—their eyes simply slide off even our most obvious outposts. We may be proclaiming the Good News, but we clearly aren’t doing it loudly enough to attract their attention.

On the other hand, indifference is not hostility. Some people in church land assume that we know what “the world” thinks of us. People aren’t joining churches because they think Christians are judgmental, hateful, foolish, irrational…According to this view, we have to rehabilitate our reputations before we can hope to have anyone pay us any attention. But, while this is certainly true for some people and in some contexts, my barista would suggest otherwise.

– See more here

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Paul Woodrum

I was in our local CVS yesterday and noticed that already an aisle is stocked with Christmas decorations. Everyday our mailbox (and our e-mail) is filled with catalogs and advertising for Christmas.

Advent is quickly advancing when our churches will begin their preparation mainly by doing less than usual and remaining dark and unadorned while the rest of the world lights up for a crazy blend of commercialism, mid-winter festival and cultural Christianity.

Maybe its time to shift our Advent perspective from one of primarily penance to one also of joyful preparation. Let's invite the world in with our own outward signs like wreaths on the doors, lights on that pine in the front lawn, a lighted Christmas Crib, a sign inviting folks to join us in welcoming the Christ, etc., by embracing, rather than denying, the joy. I'm not saying "rush Christmas," that we all know doesn't really begin until its December 24 Eve, but at least let passersby know we welcome its coming even more than Macy's, and welcome them to join us in preparing to celebrate God with us.

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