Thursday, May 24, 2007

the sectarian thing

I'm a little hesitant to post again already, having not heard from several of our bloggers, and being a little worried that you might think I'm sitting around all day on my computer. (But hey, even busy little interns like me have to make sure they have time to, say, watch Lost.)

I've gotten to sit in on several meetings in the past few days, including the board meeting for the local Communities in Schools initiative as well as, today, the relatively new West Davidson Ministers Association which runs a food program for impoverished children.

This morning we had an interesting question about how pastors should deal with community events (e.g., little league) schedule on Sunday morning. I won't divulge exactly how this group is handling it, but there is a spectrum of responses, from angrily demanding that the organizations cease their use of that time, to complete indifference.

My first reaction, the one steeped in Hauerwas (etc.), is, why are we surprised that something conflicts with church? Being in the rural South, it's easy to forget that the church cannot be totally identified with the community. My second reaction, a more pastoral reaction (but one that might be abrasive nonetheless), is to ask what we are doing wrong in our churches if our own members think of Sunday morning as just one activity among many. That is not a problem that you solve by making angry demands or denouncements. It is a culture that has to be taught and practiced over many years. Our job is not to change the way the local baseball team schedules its games, but to form Christian disciples.

Anyone? What sort of response could you envision? It's also interesting to me that rural communities like Davidson county are confronting this issue that many urban parishes have taken for granted.

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