Monday, October 20, 2008

Something New About Me


This could be a really long post, but I hope to give the Cliff's Notes version.  I will include a link for you to wander around in, if you feel so led.

I attend church every week.  I spend a week each summer as a counselor at our church camp.  I direct our program to feed the homeless breakfast, every Sunday. I am a leader of our young college kids.  I also attend to something called "Pastoral Care" which is basically potlucks and functions that bring our church folks together, outside of a worship setting. I am the porthole through which electronic information flows to the congregation, ie: someone sends me an email prayer request and I forward it to the entire congregation.  I am a lay-minister, which means I didn't attend a seminary, but provide ministry within our church.

A couple weekends ago, I took on a new assignment.  One that frightens me, but I've been told there'd be something wrong with me if I wasn't afraid.  I am now a part of the Pastorate.  There is a lead pastor, and I, along with 2 others, form the co-pastorate.  All of us are lay-ministers.  All of us have taken classes and read books that will help further our quest to get a closer relationship with God, and to be able to lead others in that direction as well.  

Our particular congregation is small (about 50-75 people), but we are a part of a larger church called The Community of Christ.  The fact that our congregation is so small is part of the reason I have so many responsibilities, but also the reason I love it.  We are small enough to be a family.  I know everyone's name.  I know when they are hurting.  I rejoice when something good happens to them, and am able to comfort them when something bad happens.  We have differences of opinions, just like any family, but we work them out.  We don't all believe exactly the same about every bit of religious questions that come up, but for the most part that has been okay.  We love enough to "agree to disagree" and get along anyway.

I consider myself a true Christian.  I don't hate other religions or other people because of their beliefs.  I don't believe that I am better than anyone else.  I do not use the bible as a weapon.  I don't believe that you are going to hell if you don't attend my church or any church for that matter.  I don't care a bit about a person's looks, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, color, financial status, or political affiliation. I don't get up in people's faces about God or religion.  I try to live by example.  I don't need to 'share the good news' with friends or strangers, unless they ask it of me.  I believe God loves all of us and is crushed when we step outside his love. 

I try my very hardest, every day, not to judge people before I get to know them. Serial killers---not so much love for them, a bit frightened.  Tattooed, pierced, purple mohawked, homeless, guy---maybe a bit taken aback, but I'll give it a go.  Some of the nicest, Godliest people you'll ever want to meet are those that are living outside your comfort zone.  I try to remember that when I'm judging folks and feeling uncomfortable.

I'll stop now.  I've probably sent folks running already.  That's okay though.  I do hope that we can agree to disagree, if we believe differently.  At least you know who I am and where I stand.  My friends and family already know these things about me, and love me despite some of my beliefs.  

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing more about you. YOU ARE A BUSY WOMAN!

    I was going to comment on your last post but... so nice of them to share whatever they were selling with you.

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  2. I had a feeling about you. And this post just confirms those feelings.

    You are one very special lady, and you truly make a huge and wonderful difference in the lives of those around you.

    I'm a Christian, too, and also one tries to lead my life, living by example, and being accepting of others.

    I agree with what you said about seeing people at face value, because I, too, get a little taken aback by those who dress and decorate themselves differently, but have learned they are just seeking autonomy and to be noticed.

    My cousin's boyfriend, who died from a brain tumor several yeas ago, dressed like a tough biker...doo rag and leather and all that. He looked intimdating.

    But he was the gentlest and kindest man anyone could know. Before he died, he held my baby daughter, just a year old then, in his strong, tatooed arms and my daughter just melted and fell asleep.
    Seeing them together in pictures still brings tears to my eyes remembering what a gentle soul he was.
    And noone would have known unless they opened up their minds and hearts to him.

    He taught me to never judge a book by it's cover.

    ~Lisa

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  3. CeeCee,

    What a beautiful post. I can see your heart in every word and this world is so much a better place because of you and others like you.

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  4. You are a wonderful writer and, I feel, you did an incredible job expressing yourself here. I personally do not feel that one has to be Christian or Buddhist or Muslim or Jewish or anything at all to adopt and live by the gentle, kind and open-minded ideals you have described. I believe your descriptions can also called being a decent and loving human being.
    Hugs to you - danni

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  5. In rereading my post, I give the impression that I'm on the go for my church 24/7. That's not the case.
    The breakfast program is 17 years old--it basically runs itself thanks to amazing volunteers.
    Potlucks are only once a month.
    Most of the college kids are away at college. I just keep in contact via email and care packages.
    An email is just hitting the 'forward' button most of the time.
    I just didn't want y'all to think I was tooting my own horn. I was trying to point out that this co-Pastor thing didn't just appear out of thin air.

    Lisa, your story reminds me of a very similar thing that happened with Pearl. We had a gentleman attending on a regular basis that had been introduced to our church at another congregation out of state. When he moved to Austin, he began attending our branch.
    Boy was he not your typical looking church-goer. He owned 3 tattoo/piercing parlors in Austin, if that tells you anything. He was so sweet and caring though. When Pearl was born, we were able to attend church the very next weekend. Mike had this "can I hold your baby" look on his face and I just handed her over. He began to cry! He was flabbergasted that I would let a rough guy like him, hold my brand new baby. He wasn't so rough. :)

    Thanks Vonda. :)

    Danni, I'm with you a 100%. I didn't even attend church regularly until I was 18. I was a darn good person before ever crossing the threshold of the place. If I ever quit going, I know I would still hold all of my beliefs about my fellow human beings the same. I know some downright nasty, hateful "Christians". It's what's in your heart and actions that counts in the end.

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  6. nice blog...Black box brought me!
    I agree with you...mostly!
    Blessings~Glenda

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  7. I really enjoyed this post. As Lisa said, it confirmed my ideas about what sort of person you are. It didn't make me feel you were tooting your own horn at all... just explaining what you do and what you believe in. Good luck with your new job. I know you'll do a fantastic job because you care!

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  8. Nice reflections about people, very refreshing.

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