Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Signals of Oddity, 1

We have begun a New Thing at Jeff Street this week. Two new things, actually.

Our pastor, Cindy has just left for Sabbatical - a time of rest, reflection, recuperation, rejuvenation and restoration. She will be gone for three months and rejoining us in October. As part of our service Sunday, we sent her on her way with our blessings.

Cindy will be considering "Listening In On the Outside" as she takes her break and she plans to be intentional about listening to those voices on the margins that we often don't hear, including spending time with "outsider" artists, transgendered persons and Christians in China, amongst others. Cindy, we will miss you and pray for you to have a wonderful time of Sabbath. May the peace and power of God be with you.

Also this last Sunday, we began what will be a year long consideration of our Signals of Oddity - those practices of church in general (and Jeff Street in particular) that make us Odd, and to celebrate, explore and embrace that very real oddness.

The notion of being an odd people, a peculiar people, a people called out to be different... this is a theme found throughout the Bible and, at our best moments, we still find it today.

For instance, one common odd practice amongst nearly all churches is the practice of Giving. In a world where we are tempted to - even told to - consume much stuff for ourselves and to horde much stuff for ourselves - people of faith the world over, each and every week, take up offerings and often those offerings are going to help those in need. We freely and gladly give so that others may have and this is too often an Unusuality, but a good and blessed Unusuality. So, we shall explore this Oddity and celebrate it.

Other Signals of Oddity will include our practice of Communion (of sharing the bread and the cup together), the sharing of our joys and concerns, the practice of Sabbath... These and other practices we will be considering more carefully and thoughtfully over this next year. We'll be sure to post our progress here as the year passes.

Yesterday, as we celebrated and blessed Cindy to send her on her way, and as we consider the whole notion of our Peculiarity, we spent some beautiful time recounting some of the Stories of Oddity that have been part of our history at Jeff St.

We share many of those stories here below and in the next two posts.



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