Thursday, April 11, 2013

Evolution and Coffee Hour

I believe in evolution, not just the apes to man, Galapagos Island variety, but the personal mind-body-spirit kind, too. And I think I just noticed a giant leap in my own mind-body-spirit evolution.

For a few years I worked in the trenches of my faith, and I loved it. I loved knowing who was who and hearing about what was going on and understanding the scuttle about why or why not this or that was doing something or other.

But no more. As I turn on the curve of my year away from church after leaving the job and really begin to think of myself as the middle aged woman in the back pew wearing jeans and a t-shirt and sneaking out early to be ready to serve the coffee, I realize that I've changed. I'm no longer church staff, no longer an insider and I really no longer care about the intricacies of the settlement process of ministers or the debate between the efficacy of one seminary or the other.

Today I watched a very cool thing, technologically. It was a panel discussion live on YouTube hosted by some great, caring people who run a non-bricks and mortar church. The panelists were passionate and very knowledgeable--all ministers with one seminarian, I believe. They seemed to have closely held beliefs and opinions about how ministers get to churches, and what the ins and outs of that are. There was a time when I'd have been very interested, but no more. It was great for lots of people, but I'm just not there anymore.

I want to see my friends and be a part of a community who cares about one another and does a little good on the planet. That's enough. No, actually that's huge! I'm sure there was a time when I would have considered that to be downright heresy. Faith is about grand, lofty goals! Transformation! Transcendence!

Sure. That's fine, if that's what you're into.

Not me. I think I've evolved. And this is just where I'm supposed to be.


(Update-- 4/12/13)
I had no intention of disparaging the new VUU show from the Church of the Larger Fellowship. I think the show format is a fabulous concept with great technology that was in all likelihood for many members of CLF was just exactly what they needed and wanted to see. This blog post was intended to be a personal reflection on my own experience of transition out of church work. I don't think my church (CLF) could or should provide programming that only interests me. We are a vast and varied community with many vast and varied interests. I wish Rev. Meg and Rev. Joanna all the best of luck for a successful run, and hope that my musings will not be taken as a negative review of the show.


shmontoya said...

I think the idea of evolution-in the personal sense- is something that's especially important and often overlooked in our churches in a variety of ways.

Institutions evolve. Programs evolve. Memberships of congregations evolve (hopefully). People grow and develop in their faiths- both internally and externally.

That these things are in flux and always shifting-however subtly- is one of the best parts of being human.

Lilylou said...

Hi, Kari,
I found myself in a similar boat after my retirement. Evolution is a real thing in human life, I agree. I hope you're finding the new life to be satisfying and growth-producing. And maybe even restful!

Kari said...

Thanks, Kit. It's been a wonderful year in many ways. But I do miss singing "Voice Still and Small" because really, who wouldn't miss that? xoxo