(In the Life of the Church)
June 15, 2014
(While Josh is away on sabbatical, Craig will be writing the newsletter. Which means you should expect less Harry Potter and more Hank Williams.)
A couple of years I ago I was given a sneak peak into the culture of "Bible Quiz" through an invitation of a family member to visit them at a competition taking place at a Nazarene church here in town. Though some may be surprised that there is such a thing as Bible Quiz, I imagine most of you will have some vague idea of what it is because of experience you may have had as a child with "sword drills." (Bible Quiz is not the same thing, and is much more intense, than sword drills.) But what may come as a shock is that there is an entire culture surrounding Bible Quiz.
At the end of this experience I told my friend Britt that if I were ever to get into the documentary-producing business, my first subject would be the world of Bible Quizzing. It is that fascinating. Well, apparently someone beat me to the punch. While scanning through the Netflix documentaries I found this little gem.
The film is well done. It is neither a cynical "expose'" nor a propaganda piece for a unique evangelical practice. It simply follows one team and its members through the upper echelons of Bible Quiz competition, and gives a sneak peak into the personal life of one of its students.
Though mostly endearing, there are some moments in the documentary that were extremely cringe-inducing. Chief among them was an exchange between a group of Bible Quizzers and a street musician in Seattle's Pike place Market. The teenagers were talking to the musicians and they mention something about their faith. The musician rebuts what they say with something along the lines of "God doesn't exist." In that moment, you could feel the tension arising within the group of students. For those of us who grew up in the world of evangelicalism, the feeling is clear: This is our moment, the one the camp pastor told us about. The moment when we would have to defend our faith against the pagans of the world.
One of the girls decided to meet the moment head on. After a little hesitation, she walked toward the musician, snapped her head quickly, sideways in both directions, and gave it her best shot: "Uh, I beg to differ! God is real!" (I'm paraphrasing here, as I don't have the film at my disposal right now.)
It was a very uncomfortable moment.
To be fair, the interaction was stacked against the girl. It was on the busker's home turf. He was clearly the aggressor and had a good 10-15 years on the girl. But at the same time, you could see the look of shell-shock on the faces of the Bible Quizzers. They had probably heard that there were those who didn't share their beliefs, but you sensed that they were just now experiencing the truth in that. And they had no clue how to interact with this strange alien person who didn't believe in God.
I believe evangelism is something that many of us have deconstructed, and for good reasons. But it is probably about time we begin the reconstruction process. This will be a monumental undertaking that will take more than a blog or a couple of sermons to complete. But I'd like to offer as a starting place a couple of the Fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians: Love. Kindness. Gentleness.
Sharing our faith with others must begin with a firm belief that I am standing on the same ground as the person I am sharing with. I have the same limitations, the same tendency toward bias and the same sin that bends all our lives into dark directions. Only an attitude of love, kindness and gentleness can effectively communicate that with "the other" in my midst.
Garage Sale Sorting
This Sunday after church will be our next Garage Sale sorting time. We had a GREAT turn out last time we did this. If we have a similar turnout, we will continue to transfer items from the storage building the church and have another group begin sorting out clothes. Go grab lunch after church then meet us back at the building at 1:00!
Garage Sale Help
The actual garage sale will be on Saturday, August 16th, Monday August 17th and (if needed) Tuesday the 18th. This year we will be dividing up duties for each day. Here are the needs we will have for each day--
15 people to help move large items from storage building to parking lot from 6:00am-7:00am
10 workers from 7-11. (3 cashiers, three inside helpers, three outside helpers, 1 building monitor.)
10 workers from 11-3. (see above.)
12 people to help move items back into storage building after 3:00pm.
Be on the lookout for me to ASK you if you would like to take one of these shifts, as well as for a sign up sheet.
Work is Worship for Sunday, July 13th
Making Coffee: Jeff Latham
Cleaning up Mugs: Crystal and Dylan Adams
Greeters: Still Needed!
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