This past Sunday I was the guest celebrant at Crossroads United Methodist Church in Ashburn. Before coming to Christ Church, Crossroads (or as it is written in short hand Xrds) was one of the two churches I was serving, St. Gabriel’s Episcopal, here in Leesburg the other one. Thanks to Betty Hutchison for covering for me and doing her usual great job last Sunday.
The title of my message at Xrds (yes, that is where I got the idea of calling our sermons messages) was The Church of Christian Simplicity; following the Simple Jesus Way. Readers of this blog and members of Christ Church know from whence that title and the ideas within it come: that’s us–Christ Church–the Church of Christian Simplicity.
I was able at Xrds to tell the congregation (about 300 strong on Sunday mornings) that some of what we have implemented in Lucketts, originally came from Ashburn–we have stick on name tags, prayer cards, and a greeting/closing for each service, ala Xrds and we call our sermons messages.
But, I told them, stuff like name tags, we have learned does not make a church. It’s the ‘way’ of the church, and the simplicity of the way, that makes a church. I told them how we have learned that being welcoming is more than stick on name tags, it is a mindset, an ethos, and that gets through to people and makes them want to be part of it.
Then I told them about WWJD and You Are Enough and Emanuel as a Verb–the language of Christ Church–and invited them to adopt those words and ways themselves.
The reaction was wonderful. People applauded when I told them about Christ Church (and several people said they were going to come to Lucketts to check us out…shh…don’t tell the Xrds pastor).
This reaction reaffirmed for me that we are on the right path, we are in fact being a church Jesus would approve of. It also reminded me we still have work to do. We must become even more Jesus like, we must continue to be welcoming, we must show the world what the Simple Jesus Way is about.
I’m so proud of us and it was joyous to tell our story to another Christian community.
peace and all good,