Our wee denomination – known as the United Church of Canada – is currently wrestling with who we are, where the Spirit might be leading us and how we might endeavour to be present to the change that might be required of us. The fancy name for this time of questioning and discerning is the Comprehensive Review.

During last week’s reflection – after wrestling with getting a microphone turned on (yep, human error occurred) – I started to ask the question: What is church? Since Sunday, I remain curious as to how we might answer this central question.

UCC Crest

UCC Crest

I am not sure that this week’s blog will necessarily do much more than reflect and offer even more questions. In fact, I would love to hear your thoughts about where is the Spirit Calling us to share the Good News – to share God’s Call of Abundance in the world? What does it mean to be church? What has it meant for you? What has to change and what’s currently pretty great that is happening that you feel needs to be named and celebrated?

Like I said, a lot of questions are a swirl …

For those who do not know, the reality is that most Mainstream Protestant denominations are struggling to see Good News as they attach ‘success’ to the amount of bottoms in their pews. And though it is a gift to be in leadership at UCiM – which seems not to be struggling with this particular challenge – the language we still use is often grounded in what is missing and what we do not have. And even though the language we use may not stand true when explored – in other words there is abundance in both UCiM’s context and our within our larger denomination – the words we use frame the conversation.

For instance … though the media more often than not frames the news in violence and crime, corruption and cynicism, the reality is that – in Canada alone – every single day almost 35 000 000 stories unfold in which gentle relations occur between people every day. Walk into any grocery store around 17:00 in this country and people of different colours, creeds, languages, genders and all those things too often we imagine divide and separate us are not present. These divisions elsewhere might devolve into tribalism and violence, yet here, we live in a mostly civil society in which each day is gift-filled!

I certainly have hopes about the trajectory upon which we might be walking and I do know that the intention of our faith – whether institutional or personally – determines whether our message resonates for those seeking. Whatever the church is and will be; whoever we understand ourselves to be as Christians must begin from a place of in which confidence sits with humility. We must be able to distinguish between our own tendencies to want control – ego – and the invitation to embrace the gift of meekness to follow the Spirit into new places which – though challenging and may confront human suffering – reflect God’s whacky, upside-down abundance in which we are all Sisters and Brothers!

I know this week’s blog has not done much more than raise even more questions: