In preparing my recent "Sex & the Church" sermon, I found myself spending a fair bit of time on the question, What is the church for? Why does it have to make proclamations about sex and sexuality and why do we let it?
During these days of trying to envision a future for youth and young adult ministry amid a practise of sabbath, we're coming to that same question: what is the church for?
Certainly times are changing, people are busier, there are more conveniences and more competition for attention spans. How can the institution compete against the church of Oprah? Is the youth focus, that has been identified as a priority of the United Church's energy and resources, misplaced? What of the impending "silver tsunami" as the babyboomers age?
There was much soul searching, and the expected frustration and outrage, but also a genuine desire and wonder about how the youth and young adults might fit into the institution instead of always railing against it?
Oy vey, this is where the church gets bogged down in its immensity. It was a dense and sloggy day, and I had the honour of offering an evening worship/theological reflection on it all.
In the end, we commiserated and communed at Big Al's Acadian Beverage Room and rocked out to some more SingStar. Who knew The Offspring's "Self Esteem" could be so cathartic? (Apologies to all those who were trying to sleep at the time).