Yesterday over lunch at 5 Guys, Mr. M asked me what my vocational discernment is like right now, and a crystal-clear response popped out of my mouth before I even had time to think about it: I feel called to Spiritual Direction, but to something else, too.
I am blowing big raspberries at the institutional church right now, there's no way around that truth. I get that it's a human institution, and thereby can't help being flawed. But sometimes I feel like there's a gaping chasm between the stated mission and the de facto mission observed in the life of the church. It's not even that we're striving for holiness and missing the mark, but that we've lost sight of the mark entirely. Mary Beth writes about frustration and sorrow. Carol Merritt Howard tells a horrendous story of call that, frankly, didn't even surprise me.
I don't think we're meant to only live out our faith individually. I can't reconcile that with my theology. Coming together to know God better, to love God and each other so that we can carry that love everywhere with us-- this is overwhelming. This is what we're here to do.
And church is exciting to me, it sings out to me, both spiritually and intellectually-- worship that conveys what we believe and reaches out to all our senses and sensibilities, or even worship that demonstrates how what we really believe is different from what we say we believe-- this is enthralling stuff. (Would someone let me study and then teach Liturgy someday? That would be fantastic.).
Can we find a way to be different from corporations? Less concerned with prestige, and more committed to lifting up everyone? Aren't we called to be servants first, and not CEOs? I've seen congregations that work this way, but is it possible in a larger context?
I worry that this sounds like sour grapes. But I don't think I'm wrong.
Accreditation Day 2
14 minutes ago