Researchers have asked people to give one word for what they think of when they think of Christians. The most common word: judgemental.
Christianity appears obsessed with sex. In a bad way. From Roman Catholic priests to mega church pastors. Homosexuality, women priests, contraception, divorce, pre-marital sex – these are the issues that appear to dominate in Christians’ lives.
In a discussion, Kiwi priest Rev. Sande Ramage pointed me to the wonderful video clip above. She was talking about getting out of our buildings and being involved in random acts, bringing joy and lifting spirits with no agenda. Of having permeable boundaries.
On October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers to perform a “Random Acts of Culture” at Macy’s in Center City Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ – the world’s largest pipe organ – the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah” at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers. The intention is to have a thousand of such events, bringing the classical arts out of the concert halls and opera houses and into communities to enrich our everyday lives.
I have previously written about dancing as another model for evangelism. About living in such a way that people cannot help but catch the enthusiasm and join in. If you enjoy the above clip, then you may enjoy the one in Antwerpen’s Central Railway Station in Belgium.
Some discussions I follow on the internet think that the solution to greying churches is to rearrange the order of the service so that communion comes before the readings, or to get rid of robes, and so on. I have recently been writing to try and shift a focus to being a community on a spiritual journey (here, here, and here).
An Anglican insight is that parishes are about everyone in the parish – not just the Christians, not just those who go to church. How might we be church, do random acts of church, outside our building’s walls? How do we make our boundaries more permeable? That is a challenge of the video clip we enjoy.
How can we live our lives as a Christian community so differently that we provide joy in the lives of others and also draw others in to our different lifestyle…