New Definitions

On Sunday, September 21 hundreds of thousands of people are going to gather in New York City to participate in a peaceful march:

“This is an invitation to change everything.”

The below paragraph is from the website: www.peoplesclimate.org

With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history. We’ll take to the streets to demand: the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.

This has caused me to stop and take pause. Our son is willing to go be a part of this. Ride 36 hours in a charter bus to go make a stand.

I was curious about the timing.  It’s on a Sunday morning. Hmmmmmmmm . . .

Andrew (said son) has shared with me he experiences God by experiencing the beauty of the world. He feels closest to God when he is out in the world, not sitting in a building.

I wonder if tomorrow, for the masses of people in NYC, that expression of their love of creation will be worship for many of them.

What if it is? Is that wrong?

I just don’t think so . . . no, it is not singing corporately, although I imagine at some point groups will.

No, they will not be having a structured time where a person up front says, “Please turn in your Bibles to Genesis . . . ” and then reads aloud to the. But what if they had Psalm 50 committed to their memories . . . because it could be understood that masses of people walking down the streets of NYC joining together in “one voice” are doing just what this verse says: “Spread for me a banquet of praise, serve High God a feast of kept promises, And call for help when you’re in trouble – I’ll help you, and you’ll honor me.”

Tomorrow is the largest organized march on climate change ever and it’s global.

MORE THAN EVER I AM CONVINCED . . . IF WE DO NOT BREAK THE MINDSET THAT CHURCH is a place that people MUST COME in order to encounter God, we will NOT reach the masses of generations younger than mine.

I’ll never forget when I was fortunate enough to be in worship at General Conf 2014 because some friends and I took a road trip all those people walking around w/ shirts and buttons saying, “Where are all the young people?

I keep finding the answer in places that push me to redefine my “understanding” of “church.”

Last night I was the opening prayer person for the Special Olympics Sailing Competition. There were teams from many states and the competition is this weekend on Lake Norman. Do you know that 80% of the people working w/ the teams from as far as Florida were under 30?
THIS is where they are spending their time and their energies. In making a difference in the world.
I bet for them, working with those men and women (who truly touched my soul last night) is “Worship.”

Somehow we must draw a parallel between what happens on Sunday mornings and that difference. I believe if we will do that we will have a shot at staying true to our calling to follow Jesus and also will redefine the understanding of “Christian.”
This march is so in sync w/ what I keep hearing from people under 20: “I love God but I do not love the church.”

It was cool to see “The United Methodist Caretakers for God’s Creation” listed in the groups . . . that will reinforce my teachings as a mom to my son, “The church can make a difference. Don’t be so quick to abandon everything because you are frustrated with a few things.”

Earth boyWe can teach this by redefining words “Christian” and “church” by our actions alongside our teachings.

We miss opportunities . . . a lot of them, I fear, when we could say, “Hey – while we value corporate worship we also value being the force of change in this world. God’s world. Let’s collaborate to make a difference.”

I just believe if we would organize “church” so that more things like this would be a part of IT – then “church” might stick around.

I just THINK (and I might be wrong) if we would be so much more intentional about being a “presence” in the world then maybe we could show all that we do care, that we are not hypocrites, and we are about social justice and change.

I guarantee you “God” will be present tomorrow in NYC very much like God was active in the peaceful protests of the 60s against war and racism.
How can we change our understanding of “church” so that we would attract people who are passionate about God, life, and making a change?
There are hundreds of thousands of people passionate enough tomorrow to be a part of a  movement that is happening in countries ALL OVER THE WORLD. Simultaneously.

Makes me think about “Worldwide Communion Sunday” and what that means and what it could mean. Being a part of a massive movement of love, passion, and positive change.

 

“Are you listening, dear people? I’m getting ready to speak; Israel, I’m about ready to bring you to trial. This is God, your God, speaking to you. I don’t find fault with your acts of worship, the frequent burnt sacrifices you offer. But why should I want your blue-ribbon bull, or more and more goats from your herds? Every creature in the forest is mine, the wild animals on all the mountains. I know every mountain bird by name; the scampering field mice are my friends. If I get hungry, do you think I’d tell you? All creation and its bounty are mine. Do you think I feast on venison? or drink draughts of goats’ blood? Spread for me a banquet of praise, serve High God a feast of kept promises, And call for help when you’re in trouble— I’ll help you, and you’ll honor me.”