We sat around the table after supper and talked. We were a small group that was part of a small church. We were talking about what to do next. We are reading the book Slow Church together but it hard to imagine being much slower than we are. The church is four years old and we are still talking about how to become a member. Some of us cannot even get the word join out of our mouths. If we do we make the quote sign with our hands. You know, "join" as in how all the other churches do it. We don't want to do it like that. We want to be more inclusive; we don't want anyone to feel excluded or inferior; we want something deeper than just "joining".
We are so small we cannot afford a building. If we had one we couldn't afford to maintain it. We rent space and we use spaces that others are using to live in. This makes it hard to have meetings on days other than Sunday unless we invade some one's living space who might actually be living in it that night. Many week nights that invaded space is our pastor's and her family.
So in this small church which inhabits small spaces maybe it's not big deal if we don't have members but we think it is. It's a big deal to commit which people have such a hard time doing today. It's a big deal for us, too, we think, so we want to come up with a way to do that -that doesn't create a two tier system of Christians, and make any one feel excluded. So we come, we give, we take part in the mission of the church and we share Communion every Sunday. But the problem is our communion, our covenant together, is non specific, it is ambiguous. It is there but how do we know it is there. You know what I mean. We don't want to sign up, or come down the center aisle at the end of the service (we don't have a center aisle anyway), or have a show of hands. We have been there and done that and are looking for a different model. Because it is important. Commitment is important. It could be we are making too big a deal of it (Jesus just said, Follow me.) But we don't think so. So our small group in our small space will continue to eat together and share our lives and pray and try to figure this out (among other things).