Posts Tagged ‘Church (building)’


http://elcic.ca/Structural-Renewal/documents/SRTFReport2011.pdf

The above link is of course designed to take you to the full mandated report on structural renewal. In all honesty, the ELCIC at least is acting on a realization facing all Mainline Protestant Churches in Canada, the institutional structure is bankrupting the church.  Unfortunately the renewal plan while moving quick for the church, is not moving quick enough, or truly courageous enough to allow the Church to answer it’s calling of being in Mission with Others.

How can I tell this? Simple, one throw away line, all synods were not abolished because of lack of support for this.  It wasn’t because it tied in with the calling, but rather because they did not want to alienate members.  When it comes to office structures, titles used, these are not part of the community, rather they are part of the institution. So the question that arises is are we in mission for others (the world) or are we in mission to maintain the Titanic after it hit the ice berg?

Thoughts?

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What is the albatross I speak of? Let’s be honest we can speak of many, the albatross I raise here is in the realm of the religious.  I exist in a community where the cup is overflowing with church buildings, yet the majority of community members are not worshippers in the Christian church, yet elsewhere (as is the shifting demographic of Canada).

So what we have is many buildings not being effectively used, half or less full on a Sunday morning, dark during Mon-Saturday…and many congregations working to keep the utilities paid and the roof from caving in.  I don’t think NE Calgary is any different from most other communities in Canada, what would truly change in the landscape if the 2/3 of churches that could not afford their buildings, and the mission of the Body of Christ to build a community of empowerment, surrendered the earthly status building (or the Freudian in me, Phallic Symbol)?

BUT and this is huge, not just to give up the building and give the money to the dying institutions that brands are on their church signs, but to truly help those in need.  What would change in people’s perception of Christianity and God in general if these churches did the following:

1) Merged with other small congregations in their area to work together throwing off the denominational divide.

2) Sold their buildings and gave the money to the local habitat for humanity or organization working to house the homeless in their area, for those in rural areas, used the money to build a vibrant community centre/ice rink.

3) Moved into the community centres.

And the biggest being the shift from travelling to a destination to worship God and do the work of the Parish, and honestly exisitng and ministering intentionally within the parish community that the church is the soul of.