“Organic” church? “Simple” church?   That sounds weird.

Actually, “simple” church isn’t that “weird.”  It’s not even new.  It’s “lowering the bar on how we ‘do church’ and raising the bar on what it means to be a disciple.”  It’s as old as the first century and the New Testament.   In fact, “simple” church is so  ancient, it’s future.

Check out “Some of Our Friends Think We’re Crazy.”

Sun-swathed and sapphire, Sunday poured out balmy breezes and a flawless curve of blue sky.   Sprays of purple, blue, crimson and pink Rhododendrons lit up fences and yards like neon signs.  Rivers and waterfalls speared slashes of glittering sun and toss them ashore willy-nilly.   Tickling the thermometer at seventy degrees, the day sashayed in with an “all is well with the world” promenade.

Here on the soggy rim of the Olympic Peninsula, a beautiful, sunny day like this is one to grab while the grabbin’s good.

After brunch  we nabbed Bibles, camp chairs, water and sun screen (!) and dashed up to one of the beautiful bluffs overlooking the harbor.  We spent half an hour or so gratefully looking at and listening to signs of Spring – twittering song birds, sun-scrubbed skies, budding tulips and daffodils.  Our worship time focused on God’s awesome creation, creativity and grace.

There’s something to be said for singing and sharing communion under a canopy of blue sky and soaring cedar trees!

Like a river glorious

Is God’s perfect peace,

Over all victorious

In its bright increase;

Perfect, yet it floweth

Fuller ev’ry day,

Perfect, yet it groweth

Deeper all the way…

– Frances R. Havergal

We attended another  “ministerial fellowship” meeting the other day.

Curious label, “ministerial fellowship.”  When’s the last time you heard an outfit describe itself as a “a non-professional fellowship,”  an “unpaid volunteer fellowship” or a “rank and file fellowship”?

What does this label imply?  Exclusivity?  Elitism?  A divide between those who belong to the “ministerial” fellowship – e.g., the paid professionals, and everyone else, e.g., the second string?

Really?

Is that what “church” is about?

Someone recently opined, “I’m not against leadership.  I just think ‘leadership’ looks more like someone washing other people’s feet than a CEO in a tie.”

When the last time you saw the former in an IC setting?

Interestingly, this same “ministerial fellowship” meets for the purpose of “trying to find ways to be more effective in ministry.”

Is it that mysterious?

How about: Dropping the elitist “‘ole boys club”  mentality. Being inclusive.   Opening your  meetings.  Inviting anyone who’s engaged in ministry to attend and contribute.  Getting rid of the clergy/laity divide.  Embracing the universal priesthood of all believers, where ministry and service are based on gifting and calling, not on an autocratic, top-down pecking order.

How Would It Look?

What would “church” look like then?  How much more “effective” would “ministry” be?   What if every clergy member made it a goal to work him/herself out of a job?  What if “ministry” was something all believers were actively engaged in, rather than watching a few paid professionals operate while they sit on the sidelines and spectate?

Stay tuned for Part 2.

What a great weekend!  WA-HOO!

Good Friday included finger food, light snacks and a review of the MGM classic, Ben Hur (1959 – Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd).

Kids suggested celebrating Easter “out in the boonies” this year.  Per their request, we met at Bogachiel (a few miles from the state park) for an  outdoor  worship celebration.

Bogachiel is a couple hours away and the weather was a bit dodgy, but no one complained.  It was an exciting, dynamic and blessed day!

On Easter Sunday soaring cedar trees, singing streams, moss-festooned conifers and shy spring wildflowers provided a glorious backdrop to celebrate the Mightiest Moment in History – the resurrection of Jesus Christ.    Kids led singing and joined in reading the Easter narrative from portions of Matthew 27 and 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20.

Just before communion a kid pointed upward and hollered, “Look!  Look!”  Sure ‘nuf, he spotted the rainbow.  We celebrated communion and sang some more.  Kids and adults took turns selecting (and leading) grand old hymns or upbeat praise choruses – acapella!  (The squirrels didn’t seem to mind.  :))

After a shared meal,  kids scampered around on a “Truth (plastic egg) Hunt,” finding treasures from Scripture (inside the eggs, with candy) all over the place.  Hard to tell who had more fun – the adults hiding the “Scripture eggs”, or the kids looking for them!   Those who wanted to went hiking later.  It was a beautiful, memorable day glorying in the resurrected Savior.

Because “church” is who we are, not somewhere we go, The Sheepfold isn’t tied to one location or time slot.   We enjoy flexibility and creativity and the chance to “be the church” wherever we go.  Easter Sunday was a prime case in point.

Can’t wait to see what doors God opens and where He leads next!  He is risen!