Friday, April 08, 2005

The Wanderer for Wonderwhat (11)

(Parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17)

Into open waters
The group looked at the Wanderer intently. He studied their faces, hoping he could read something that would indicate the right choice to make. Eighteen adults were crammed into his tiny living room, a small band of dreamers who had set out with him on a journey away from church, as he’d known it. They sat encircling the Wanderer, weighing out the news he’d just given them.
He continued talking: “Well, that’s the bottom line. The pastor has decided to leave, and they are offering the building, chairs, and sound equipment for us if we want to move out of the living room and grow into something bigger.”

“It is crowded here.” Said one person.
The Wanderer looked around at the group, crammed into every free inch of space. “Yes, it is.”

“It’s a scary thought, but its kind of exciting too.” Someone else offered.

“Who’ll be paying the rent?” the Pragmatist asked.
“Good question.” Said the Wanderer. “I guess we’ll have to start a community fund that will cover expenses like those.”
“And what if nobody gives to this fund?” pressed the Pragmatist.
“Well…if nobody gives, and we can’t pay rent, then I guess we have our answer about whether we should have done this or not.” The Wanderer said, smiling.
“So, this means we’re going to start taking up offerings?” the Pragmatist added quickly.
“Why?” No response.
“No really, why would we need to do that? We all know there are needs. We all want to keep meeting together. Why would we need to act like we’re not family, and pass a bucket around like panhandlers? No, we will not be taking up offerings. We’ll put a box, or a basket or something out, and people can contribute as they’re led.” The Wanderer said with a sound of someone bringing a case to a close.

“So, then, are we going to meet on Sundays now?”
“Maybe…maybe not. What do you guys think about Saturday nights? Leave Sunday open as a full day off to hang at the beach or whatever? It definitely would defy expectations!” The Wanderer suggested excitedly.
“I don’t know. What if people think we’re Sabbath observers? Or Jehovah’s Witnesses?”
“People will think anything they want, we can’t worry about that.” Someone else offered. “I like the idea of a Sunday free-day!”

The group was getting more and more excited as they talked. They all prayed together, asking God for guidance, and spent some time in silence, contemplating the choice before them. In a unified decision, they agreed to assume the lease, and take the equipment that was offered.

“Ok, one more thing,” the Pragmatist ventured cautiously, “ does this mean we need to call you Pastor now? I mean, now that we’re becoming a legitimate church?”

The Wanderer looked at the Pragmatist to decipher if this were a joke. Then he noticed that everyone else in the room was looking at him with an expectant look, waiting for his answer.

“Ok…let’s start from the beginning again. A legitimate church?” The Wanderer said, making quotation marks in the air with his fingers. “Let’s go back to my manifesto. Why I hate church; part one….” The group cut him off with groans and laughter.

“You call me by my name, and nothing else. We’re in this together, you’re not gonna’ pin this whole rap on me!” The Wanderer said amid the laughter.


Post a Comment

<< Home