My Kinda Lent
#MyKindaChurch was started as a project for Epiphany. We thought that doing this listening project was especially appropriate during the season after Epiphany, a time of revelation and new insights. A time where we celebrate that the incarnation of God is revealed to us in a particular time, in a particular place, in a particular person.
#MyKindaChurch introduced us to queers and radicals and witches and atheists and all sorts of people who are made in the Image of God, but that we so often do not normally see sitting next to us in the pews.
We asked questions together about what their longings and absence meant for the church. We learned from them about courage and vulnerability. We left room for the messiness of it all. We became more open to what the church could look like. We wondered about power and we made space to question authority.
And now that we are entering into Lent, a season of reflection and penitence, the question we face is…
Reading your stories and thoughts opened up my heart in ways I never imagined when we started this project. I wonder if, for you, it’s been the same. I wonder if there were entries in #mykindachurch that challenged you. If there were entries that resonated. If there were entries that pushed on old bruises or opened up old wounds.
Lent is a time when we strip away distractions to focus on what matters. I would offer up to all of us that these people, these folks featured in #MyKindaChurch, they are what matter. Folks that have so often be left out of our conversations and pushed out of our churches. Folks that have things to say and things to teach us.
Our challenge for you during the season of Lent is to take on the Lenten discipline of seeking out voices and stories from the type of people who you don’t normally hear from at church, to build deep relationships with them, and to truly listen and reflect on what they say.
#MyKindaChurch will not be sharing entries daily on social media anymore (although the Tumblr will stay active and anyone is welcome to continue to join in and participate). But even without these daily social media posts and weekly reflections, the voices of God’s people are still out there. They are at your coffee shop, your kid’s pick up spot at school, your street corner, your gay bar.
These voices belong to people who matter to God.
It is time that their voices matter to the church.