Everyone worships something

Once a year we have our Sunday worship gathering in a park. It’s intentional though started by necessity. It began by needing to vacate our building that shelters a maximum of 100 men for at least six hours while the electricity was turned off to install a generator. The generator is needed in the event of power loss from a hurricane. (Since hurricane season is one of our two seasons...

I Don’t Fit In {church, music & me}

Much of my childhood I felt I didn’t fit. We moved so much in my junior and senior high school years I didn’t have time to join so I didn’t have time to fit. By the time I figured out the rhythm of this new school we were moving to another state where I’d have to observe and learn again. Move from Arkansas to Baltimore: note to self: they don’t...

Let’s add the Candle of Mess to our Advent this year

Our pianist has only been with us a few months. She’s an outsider to our community and our church traditions. A church woman herself, she answered the ad we placed for a pianist needed: Sundays, 8:45 – 10:15 a.m. She walked through the doors our first Sunday of Advent, greeted me as I said, “it’s Advent, you never know what’s going to happen so hold on.” I’m not sure if...

Jesus Isn’t Just for Church People

It’s a bit complicated to describe our congregation. Some would say they’re a captive audience. While that description makes me flinch, it’s not all wrong. The residents in this six-month rehabilitation program are required to attend our Sunday service. A spiritual component is part of their recovery along with individual and group counseling, recreation, and work. We have a congregation of all men. Most of them are addicts. Their church...

Why I decided to leave the church

guest post by Heather Enright Like a lot of little girls born to Bible belt parents, I’ve been in the church since I was in-utero. I did the gold star charts for memorizing Bible verses AND bringing your Bible. I did Sunday and Wednesday nights, church potlucks, WWJD bracelets, Psalty records and Carmen concerts. Been there, done that. Got the t-shirt. Lately, things have been turned on their head. I...

Have you chosen the best path?

There is a wide path between the ball fields and lake near our home. It is level and solid and straight. You can see clearly, making sure each step is firm. My parents were my trusted guides on the path called life. They were ahead of me on the journey. They knew areas that could be tricky and they helped me navigate the way. They walked with with me and surrounded...

Church: What it is and what it can be

I remember the creaky, wooden benches; three or more connected together but also folded. These makeshift pews lined up on the hard floor of this old building that  today would be called a church plant. There was a large picture of the founder of our denomination hanging in the activity room. With his long white beard, I thought he might also be Santa Clause. I was 4. There was a lot...

Shalene and Freddy

We came as visitors, in town for a pastors conference. We gathered at a true community center for Sunday morning church. Her name was Shalene. Her hard ‘r’s’ and sweet tea accent made me think she’s native to this part of Georgia. She took the stage to lead the Praise and Worship part of the service. The name the church has given to songs played more on guitar than keys,...

Throwback Thursday {1980}

I love looking at this picture because it brings back memories of a special time in our lives. Our co-pastor at that time calls it their Camelot. These babies and preschooler’s remind me of the bonds of friendship shared and how it was expressed in fellowship with each other. We had bible studies in our homes, cookouts in the summer and a Christmas party where I tried requesting “no jeans”...

An old-fashioned invitation

We’re sort of old-fashioned that way. The way we close our Sunday worship time with an invitation to pray. Not the sit-in-your-seat-heads-bowed-eyes-closed kind of prayer. Well, that, yes, but also the kind of prayer that brings some people to the front of the chapel to kneel before God and their peers. That kind of old-fashioned invitation that isn’t always common these days. It’s not easy to make that walk. The...