Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting with a colleague from Savannah. (Which is why the e-news is later today, the weather was atrocious so I ended up stopping/staying on the drive back).
Jesuit Fr. Karl Rahner said, “If Western Christianity did not rediscover its mystical foundations, we might as well close the doors of the churches because we had lost the primary reason for our existence.” The word “mystics” is often “off-putting” to us clean-cut “religious” people. It seems too “out there.”
However, the mystics embody what we aim for and why we continue to be engaged in the “church.”
A mystic is someone who has moved from having a “belief or belonging system” to having had an Inner experience with God/The Divine.
To flush that out even more, it isn’t about merely believing something.
Or focusing on belonging TO something.
It is about BEING IN something that transforms, empowers, and that moves us.
The role of the church is to be a pathway for such experiences.
Hunt (my colleague) and I were discussing the state of the church post-pandemic. As we discussed the post-pandemic differences in church, we had the hugest “aha” moment.
And it is something you’ve been saying to me for at least a year; I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes.
“I love and appreciate West. I appreciate the ways we are missional and join together to help our community (and the world) be a better place. I appreciate how we love all people. I appreciate the messages and how they make life/faith intersect and that they are relevant. At the same time, I am finding transforming experiences with God in other ways than only sitting in the auditorium. God is with me as I take a walk. God is with me as I drive to work . . . as I sit in silence and focus on the mere gift of life. I feel God now in ways like never before.”
While I/the band/other folks miss seeing one another, we also celebrate that the very thing we’ve been hoping for, been providing a pathway for, is happening.
You are experiencing God in vast and many ways!
So what is the role, then, of West Church?
There’s hopefully a significant role West can play in all that.
BUT . . . before I pontificate what that is, I’d like to hear it from you!!!!
On Sunday, January 29 we will have a “Town Hall” at 11 am in the auditorium.
I, the staff, and the PAC Team would like to hear from you!
What do you NEED and WANT from a church in this new era?
What makes West relevant to you and your life/faith?
What would cause you to want to invite a friend to be with us in a worship experience, either in-person OR online???
What do we need to be doing differently to keep West a viable pathway to experience God?
Please prayerfully consider these questions. And if you have time, send me an email or text sharing your thoughts/ideas.
Mark the date Jan. 29 on your calendar. Come with questions about the future of the church, of West, and we will do our best to answer them.
This Sunday . . . brush up on your geography! There will be a game, both in-person and online, with a Starbucks gift card as the reward. We will continue to talk about what happens when we pin our dot!
Thank you for your support, patience, and encouragement as we continue to strive to be a pathway for you to encounter The Divine!