Hello blogoshpere, I’ve missed you. This ministry thing – it keeps me very busy. I keep thinking that I need a TARDIS to keep up. That if I could travel through space and time, maybe I’d be able to keep up with everything I need to do. But then, since I’m not actually a Time Lord, I’d probably just age faster than I’m already aging, so that wouldn’t accomplish as much as I’d like in the long run. So as much as The Doctor doesn’t like it, I probably need to progress as time usually passes — slowly and in the right order.
And then today a colleague posted a picture of someone’s absolutely FAN-TAB-U-LOUS cosplay TARDIS gown that’s bigger on the inside. That is, there’s a wrap portion that opens to the inside of the TARDIS. And then it hit me — I don’t need a TARDIS (though that WOULD be super-cool) – churches need to be like a TARDIS. Churches need to be bigger on the inside.
Now, you might think that I mean churches need to be literally bigger on the inside. You might think that I mean churches need more storage space. Or more meeting space. More offices. A bigger social hall (or any social hall). Well, yes. Many churches could use these things. There is often not enough space. But that isn’t what I mean.
I mean we need to be making room. Room in our minds. Room in our communities. We need to be bigger on our own insides. In Unitarian Universalist churches, in particular, we embrace many different paths. We are a covenantal rather than a creedal faith. That alone doesn’t make us unique. However, we embrace many paths to what is true.
Sometimes, we have trouble remembering that we need to make room for all the different paths that people are on in our congregations. Sometimes, we think that someone else’s theology might somehow threaten our own. Perhaps it might remind us of where we came from. Perhaps it no longer speaks to us directly, or perhaps it never did. But sometimes we forget that it doesn’t need to speak to us all the time.
It’s like being the oldest child in a family. It’s all great when you’re the only child. And then a baby comes along, and the baby’s all cute for a minute, but then we start to worry that the baby is going to take all of that attention — all of MY attention!! There can’t be enough room for me AND the baby! But then we learn that not only is there enough room for both (and possibly more) – in some ways, it’s even BETTER!
Church can be like that, too. If we treated church like a TARDIS – if we knew that we could be bigger on the inside, we would be able to welcome so many more people into our doors. We would have room for people who have tattoos and piercings as well as people who sit on corporate boards. We would have room for Christians and pagans, atheists and Buddhists, seekers and the faithful. We would have room for children and grandparents in worship.
We don’t have to travel through time and space to be the church we can be. We just have to recognize that we can open ourselves up to so much more.
That’s all I’ve got. That’s my mite. Allons-y!