I love guest preaching in other congregations. It reminds me that the church is broad and strange and deeply contextual. I get to see the faithfully gathered–and they often look a bit different than Humble Walk. For instance, half of their population isn’t eight and under. Also, there are people with loads of grey hair. This is a joy for me. I grew up around a lot of elderly folks–so it feels like coming home.
Sitting down at post-worship coffee, I look for the table of rowdy elders. The group who has seen it all–and whose tact is a bit worn around the edges. Recently, a ninety-year-old with generous amounts of shocking red lipstick said, “We are getting used to the new pastor. Some people left because of the old one. New members have come because of this one. Oh, and of course some left because of that vote about calling gay pastors. Seems like a silly reason to leave a church if you ask me.” Don’t you love her?
Another asked me, with shoulders raised and a bit of a mischievous grin, “Are you still holding church in a saloon?” “Oh, you mean Theology on Tap? Yes, we are–you should come.” She laughed and said, “Oh, I don’t drive at night.” Anyone want to pick her up for the next round of Theology on Tap? I want her at the saloon with us.