Pastor’s Corner – August 6, 2023

“Needless to say, church isn’t the only place where the holy happens. Sacramental moments can occur at any moment, at any place, and to anybody. Watching something get born. Making love. A walk on the beach. Somebody coming to see you when you’re sick. A meal with people you love. Looking into a stranger’s eyes and finding out they are not a stranger. If we weren’t blind as bats, we might see that life itself is sacramental.” Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking & Beyond Words.

It’s true. Life itself is sacramental. As a church, we don’t monopolize sacramental experience that is transformative, connecting us to something larger than ourselves. When we encounter these moments in life as described by Buechner (writer, poet, Presbyterian minister) we create meaning in our lives. And everyone regardless of their religious affiliation or spiritual practice (or none), just to be human with two feet on the ground and to look above the heavens is enough. 

So, what are we doing as a church? Why even bother when the world itself is “an altar” as described by Barbara Brown Taylor, once an Episcopal priest now an author.  (New York Times bestseller An Altar in the World, she continues her spiritual journey by building upon where she left off in Leaving Church). I ask this question not to discourage us (I actually recommend Taylor’s books!), but to sharpen our understanding of what it means to be a church in our world today. I think humility goes a long way, too often some churches place too much self-importance, a borderline arrogance if not full-fledged imperialistic impulse to proselytize the world. Clearly there is an identity crisis.

As a church we need to remember who we are. When we begin our worship with the pouring of baptismal water, we are reminded of our commitment and to whom we belong. We are blessed to see life through the lens of baptism and eucharist. What we do as a church is to ponder more deeply our everyday experiences as sacred and that no one should be denied such experiences because of poverty, discrimination and injustice. The stories we tell and retell in our scriptures remind us that our stories and stories of others do matter. 

This coming Sunday is a story of two fish and five loaves of bread. The church is like those gathered around Jesus with what seems very little, but in sharing a common meal together, something holy happens… Come this Sunday and let’s find out. Amen.

Pastor Dae