Friday, May 26, 2006

Pimp my Church

well, it's not there yet, but soon you can go here and see a video of last night's panel discussion. It featured The Godfather as well as Diana Butler Bass and Alan Jones. The presentation's called Here Come Everybody.

It includes one thing I've already seen - a 5-minute film about our church, which I believe they created to use as part of Brian's intro. I met Paul Brubaker several weeks ago, when he was at church shooting, and he sent a preview copy to us yesterday, so we could make sure everyone's name was spelled right.

The film is absolutely lovely - the filmakers, being from NYC, were positively smitten with our pastural setting. Not being an outdoorsy sort, even I have to admit that our property is unusually nice in the spring.

And the interviews are lovely; everyone talking about how they love the community, they feel right at home here, how blessed we are with the new pastor and the fabulous land and the great ministries. It makes life at church look like a little slice of heaven. The slice where white, 40-year-old suburbanites gather to hug one another. (I SWEAR TO YOU, PEOPLE OF COLOR DO ATTEND THIS CHURCH. ALSO PEOPLE UNDER 30. And I know Paul interviewed some, but they didn't make the 5-min cut.)

I know, I know - why be hatin'? I'm definately not hating. It's a terrific piece of tape. I'm proud to be part of the community that Paul saw, and that he made a film about. If I ever meet someone who first heard of us from seeing that film, I'll feel good about it.

I just have to say - working in a church (on staff, or as a volunteer), you get to see everything - teamwork and lifelong friendship but also the conflict, spiritual growth but also some terrible behavior and deep, deep hurts. We're not unusual in any way - it's just that loving people is hard. And we fail at it. Constantly. And disappoint people horribly.

And it takes a lot of time and effort, all this screwing up. Things that are working out well usually get a quick nod in the hallway, so that crises can have our undivided attention.

So it's a little weird, this 5 minutes of hugging and smiling. It's true - seriously, this stuff is true about our church, no one was faking or struggling to put a good face on thing.

It's just weird for me to see, all that sweetness, all compacted together like that.

Usually, it's interleaved with the Other Stuff.

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