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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Messy Church


In a supervision session with a staff person today I asked her what she was learning about the church through this crisis of the fire. She paused, then said: "I realize how it's much more important to be a family and not just a congregation." Everywhere I look I see the "family" principle being modeled. I just came back from a walk through the campus. Out front is the Red Cross disaster truck. Behind it is a huge tent with volunteers fro Red Cross guiding people through next steps. Next the the Red Cross tent is a Salvation Army tent providing food and beverages to anyone in need. The nursery is filled with kids, dropped off by parents to have a safe place to play while they sift through the ashes of their homes. The gym has been taken over by a neighborhood association helping families sort through insurance technicalities and available resources. Last night we opened the gym to victims of the fire. I was gone at the M-4 Thanksgiving service, but support staff said the Santa Barbara mayor, Assemblyman, council representative, Sheriff's Department, and local news trucks gathered while over 300 showed up. I arrived after it was over and was continually thanked by residents for "all that we were doing" which was basically being available and letting go of control of our space. It's messy, but it's right!

2 Comments:

At 4:37 PM , Blogger Linda said...

I have never met you but found your blog through a mutual friend, Brad Boydston. I read you daily and your area has been in my thoughts constantly over the last few days. As your community dealt with fire. We had "tornados" (not really known to Australians but that is what they are calling them). Our church building has suffered great damage (link http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/queensland/the-gap-church-among-worst-damaged/2008/11/17/1226770327093.html )but the Church survives and has done amazing God things in the community yours and ours. Our love and prayers.

Linda

 
At 6:24 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

Amen! God bless you Linda!

 

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