Dear Church Family,
Monday morning staff meeting began with high anticipation of sharing a meal with Grace community, the Missional Wisdom community, and beyond. Brian McLaren and Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove would break bread with us and share their wisdom with us about gospel-bearing in a religiously plural culture.
Monday afternoon, just a few hours later, the staff and the Bonhoeffer community quietly worked together setting up for the long-anticipated event, having heard the first pieces of news from the Boston Marathon.
The juxtaposition of these two events did not fit. When the evening came and our tables were heaped up and flowing over with food (somehow the word “potluck” has survived and is recognized by people across all age groups), we opened with a moment of silence and words reminding us of some of the feelings of disbelief and horror we felt upon first hearing about 9/11.
Throughout the evening, however, hope was palpable. Over one hundred people had gathered in the parlor, and more quietly assumed their places in the balcony, eagerly listening for words of wisdom to direct us and help us formulate our own thoughts and responses to gospel-bearing. When supper was over, Elaine Heath set the stage for us.
Those moments of intense listening in close quarters and from the balcony were right out of To Kill a Mockingbird. Those moments of response from McLaren and Hartgrove were right out of the gospel as each responded to every question from those gathered with, “Let me tell you a story.” Two days later, West happened.
I thank God for each of you every day and for making a place such as Grace where, in the best of times and in the worst of times, all are invited to gather, be heard and be blessed.
Grace and Peace,