Mission Statement

Cyber Sabbath's goal is to begin to mend the division between Christ and the world (society) that Church has created through reflections, sermons and devotionals

Cyber Sabbath is a place for the stifled Christian voice to be heard. Media gives way to much time to the extremist - over looking the theologically educated and/or the moderates in favor of what sells their view point. Here, politics aside, a pastor reflects on God's voice in every day life.

Friday, September 2, 2011

trying to solve religious problems

My Spirit burns with passion over the problems with religion - established, institutionalized. 

I am moved so deeply by the number of people I know personally who although believe in God and I would say are Spiritual (in tuned with God and the everyday interactions within their life) don't go to church or belong to a church family.  For many reasons people have moved beyond the church.  I claim, a lot, that it has to do with the fact that mainline church has lost its voice to the major conservatives.  But I think it is more then that, I believe that it is not just that our voice has become lost to the public but that we don't have voices.  Many mainline churches don't have voices because in believing that beliefs are personal matters - they don't take sides.  In being warm and welcoming excepting all - beliefs don't get discussed.  We have become clubs not places for spiritual renewal.  When fresh people come through our doors, we are signing them up to be one of us - part of this family of people without a sense of who we are - and yet we expect them to feel as if they belong.  How can a new person feel as if they belong to a place when they don't have history? When they don't know or understand what you believe? How can we prove to them that we are a different church, that we aren't stereotypical or we aren't hypocrites if we can't tell what we do believe?

When a seeker enters a church, they are looking for something. When they find nothing - no voice, no authenticity, no Spirit moving - they aren't going to stay.  This isn't to say that there is nothing for I assure you that at the core of every congregation there is something.  And even at the most club-like church there is a true Spirit of God moving. For those who are there believe.  The problem isn't that the Spirit has left or isn't there but that we have never learned how to give that Spirit voice.  In trying to be politically correct, in trying to be a place where all are welcome we have failed at one thing and that is defining our image of God beyond the European Male that wasn't Christ.  

As a new mother, raising a strong independent minded child, I am grateful to the church and all the advice I get from the ladies (and gentleman of course!).  I am also mindful of the support that I have and truly believe each of them when they offer to watch Livia if I ever needed them.  Although I haven't, and probably won't, take many of them up on their offer, knowing that they care that much to do that is enough.  I know that Sunday's is often the only day that parents have free, but I wish we could do something that would encourage them to come to church.  To be a part of the worship experience.  I wish that all those with children could feel the same level of support and true love that I feel knowing that my child truly has a family who loves her.  I know that these same church ladies have offered to other young parents advice and babysitting opportunities.  I just hope that they realize the true essence of which these ladies offer and the love that they are willing to spread and give to the children of the church.

The question isn't just how we make a more meaningful worship experience - that isn't how we get people to come to our church.  It is who do we create our voice and let our voice be heard.  How do we go out into the community, teaching about Christ and encouraging people to worship with us.

In the aftermath of Irene, the reality of social media and how much it has become a community is just remarkable.  Phyllis Tickle once said that there are 4 pleasures and during the 50's church was the 4th -- it was the "other" that people sought for everything.  Today the "other" is social media.  How does church compete?

enough ramblings for now...