Sunday, July 24, 2011

St. Luke's in Holloway

After a week of amazing conversations with Anglicans, Quakers, Unitarian Universalists, non-denoms, and people of any and all theological persuasion (or none at all), I feel like I'm making real headway in talking to total strangers about slavery and what we can be doing to stop it.  I am constantly humbled by the creative and passionate responses of people from all across the spectrum, and the support I keep finding replenished!  Thanks to one and all for the love and encouragement.

This morning, I sought church as a place of solace and comfort rather than a potential conversation partner in the challenging fight against trafficking.  I went to St. Luke's in Holloway, London (having already been intrigued after hearing Dave Tomlinson, their Vicar, lecture the week before).  It was phenomenal -- ancient space but with an eye on what the spirit is doing today.  Vibrant liturgy.  Diverse and affirming community.  Hymns that feel like slipping on an old, comfy hoodie (Be Thou My Vision), and revelatory interpretations (treating God's church as the fifth gospel and including a story of a member of the congregation's own life in with the Gospel reading).  I was touched by all the thoughtful participation in worship by lay leaders and clergy alike, and appreciated the stark honesty they seemed to have with one another.  Shouldn't church be a place where we feel confident we'll be loved, even if we bring our less-than-shiniest-selves?  I think part of living out the Christian story is knowing that we've all got stories - glorious and painful and dull and astounding -- and our lives are more complete when we share them.

Part of what left me the most touched was the deft handling of prayer this morning - prayer for the people of Norway in such sorrow and shock, and for those who feel so lost as to think such violence is a good idea.  Prayer for Amy Winehouse (no joke, they mentioned her in the prayers) and acknowledging the tragedy that is the loss of any young life, and the loss of talent, and prayers for all those who have to witness loved ones struggle with addiction.  Prayers for those who feel their love is unaccepted by the church, and prayers for those in the church who struggle to accept love in a variety of forms.  It was like all those things for which I sought solace and wisdom found their wording in the mouth of a stranger.  Church is pretty great like that.

WPC, I miss and love you all tremendously.  In the meantime, it's good to have found a church home away from home for the summer.

No comments:

Post a Comment