Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Springfield, NCAA Football 07, and the Church

Sorry I haven't updated in a while, I went on another workcamp; this time to Springfield with our Middle School. Man, it was great. It was so cool to see these guys who hadn't really done anything like a conference workcamp. There were about 190 (14 from our church) of us there, and our church was assigned a ramp to build. Luckily, the adults I brought were: A teacher, an engineer, and a chemist. All more educated and able to adapt to situations than me. So the picture you see is us with Michelle, who's father has suffered numberous recent injuries as a result of muscle and bone deficiencies. He's wheelchair bound and can now live with his daugher, son-in-law, and grandkids.

On an unrelated side-note, the new college football game from EA just came out. It's sweet. So far i'm 0-1 to Jeremy, on account of a last play of the game touchdown. Great. I'm going to the Cards game tonight too, with my pastor. Which I guess means the cursing with have to be toned down, a little. Clearly i'm not working TOO hard.

Back to a related topic now...I think a lot of times the church gets a bad name, and righfully so. Let's go back all the way to the Crusades, stuff like the Spanish Inquisition, feudalistic brutality, Indulgences, Anti-semitism...Then all the way up to the 20th century we had segregation, condemnation, (sorry, no more cajun man) cases of child abuse, sexual misconduct, being complacent in our communities, all sorts of things. If your casual person on the street has a less-than-positive image of "the church", frankly, they have several good reasons to. It's led by broken people.

People who are anti-establishment or anti-institution can have lots of reasons why the church is bad. Who hasn't sat in Annual Conference (sorry, Methodist talk) and wondered if all of this is just a stupid waste of time?

But to see what God does through his people really is refreshing, and makes all the crap we humans throw into the equation bearable. With one phone call we can have a place to stay in Jackson Mississippi on our way home. Paperwork and "red tape" really can be effective in Kenner Louisianna as needs are matched with willing and able hearts. 190 kids from all around Missouri can make a difference to dozens of families in Springfield. So as easy as it is to criticize church, it's not all bad either: the Methodist church can be a stagnent, outdated, tumultuous, fickle, complacent body. Sit in on a meeting to change the carpet color or design a t-shirt sometime. Or more seriously, sit in on a General Conference session. But the Methodist Church (and plenty of other churches too, i'm just speaking from experience here) can also AND MORE IMPORTANTLY be an avenue where the mission of Jesus Christ is carried out in real, tangible, meaningful ways. Not a slogan or a bumper sticker type way, but I changing lives sort of way.

Thats something I can sign up for.