Earlier this month I saw ‘Miss You Already‘ which had just been released in the USA. It
was good to see the brief scenes of a wedding and funeral both shot at St. Mary’s.
There were other scenes shot near to St. Mary’s as well. Our church is a movie star!
I have also been reading a fascinating book called ‘Beyond Resistance’ by John
Dorhauer. Admittedly, it is about the church in the United States, as he is the General
Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. The church in Livermore is
affiliated with that church, as well as with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
The book is about the current change that is happening in the universal church as
society itself is changing. Today, spiritual issues are seen as something that can
happen, if people believe in them at all, outside of the established church. The author
divides (simplistically he admits) the church into what he calls church 1.0 (the church at
the time of the New Testament until the Reformation) church 2.0 (the church that broke
away because of the Reformation becoming what we call Protestant churches), and
church 3.0 (an emerging church which is still being formed).
His research and insights are enlightening. Some churches will not survive, some
churches will become stronger, continuing as 1.0 or 2.0 churches, meeting the spiritual
needs of those who relate to those expressions of faith. And there will be new churches
that meet the needs of today’s ‘post modern’ society. New churches might have no
connection with any denomination, may not have leaders who have been specifically
trained, may meet in a variety of places and times, and may not have any set format but
will accommodate various approaches to relating to the divine.
In all expressions, the key element is being authentic in one’s spiritual expression and
relationship with God (however ‘God’ is understood). I greatly enjoyed the book,
notwithstanding the fact that I had difficulty with every pronoun for God (other than
Jesus) being ‘she’ and every pronoun for a church leader also being ‘she’. I personally
felt that to be too limiting for my understanding of both the divine and church leaders.
Having said that, there are real gems in the book for those who are considering where
the church is going in 2015 and beyond.
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