i received an email from my home church in philadelphia yesterday. honestly, if the title of the email doesn't look relevant, i usually delete. i get the important details from my parents. and, frankly, i've gotten some bad news through church emails that i'd prefer not to receive that way.
i am episcopal. eventhough we don't attend an episcopal church here i still tell people, when they ask, that i'm episcopalian.
the only problem is that here... well, the episcopal church is not what i know. or what i like. or seek. and while the larger episcopal church in the states is, for me, a justice seeking, peace-loving, historical, ritualistic, sacramental organization i always kind of worried about my home parish.
the people, i love. its cliche to talk about church families, but st. tim's really is family. in church and beyond. this church nourished me and helped me grow into a jesus-loving adult. i was allowed to preach, teach sunday school, help with the youth group... and for a brief 4 months, i worked on the church webpage and some other things before i got married.
the church has been growing. and with growth comes growing pains.
when an old church... old... starts to grow, it needs to make decisions. to change or to stay the same. to open their doors or keep them shut.
when i first heard that the vestry was considering hosting a "mobile shelter" program for homeless families, i feared that some members of the church would tremble... say no, even leave the church.
so, when i received the email that told me that they approved it... and that the first dates are already set, i welled up with pride. yah, silly, maybe. but i see mychurch growing and changing and opening their doors to the "least of these"... and not just opening their doors, but - since the program requires church members to cook for, care for and fellowship with the homeless - they are also opening their hearts.