Worship at Gloria Dei Saturdays 5:00pm, Sundays 9:00am and 10:30am

Keep Church Weird

Happy Friday, Gloria Dei!

As I sit down to write this, we’ve been worshiping In Person, Live on Facebook, and Later on our website and YouTube channel for 1 month. We hope these worship opportunities have been uplifting and building you up in faith. Personally, I’m not used to it all yet. I’m not quite used to the schedule, the format, or the differences in how we lead worship. I’ve caught myself having to step back a little bit when visiting with someone. I’ve been close to belting out some song lyrics I love to sing. I’ve had to remind myself to wash my hands…again. Honestly, it still feels very weird to me.

I’d like to invite you to consider ‘weird’ to be a good thing. One of my colleagues who pastors a fun little church in St. Paul, MN has had a tag-line for a number of years. I think she even put it on a bumper sticker for her church members to slap on their vehicles. The tag-line is, “Keep Church Weird.” The point she often makes when she says that phrase is that God is unpredictable, uncontainable, and acts outside the expectations that we so often have. Keeping church weird is a way of acknowledging that God exists outside of the boxes we like to put God in and is a faithful way to claim that, “God is God and we are not.”

So many of us have expectations about how church should be. Some of us have carried these expectations for a very, very long time. Others of us are only beginning to form our own expectations. As Covid began to unfold upon the world, expectations went out the window. Uncertainty became the only expectation.

Now that we are meeting In-Person, Live, and Later, and now that we’ve had time to live into this new reality, we’re developing new expectations. We’re forming new expectations about how church should be and how we should engage with it. I think this is good. We’ve had a good amount of helpful feedback about worship, both constructive criticism and encouraging support. We welcome it all. We are so thankful for the patience and understanding you always graciously show to us as we do our best to navigate these uncharted waters.

As we navigate our way into all of this, maybe it’s a good idea to keep church a little weird. Maybe we should expect things to look and feel awkward, strange, foreign, or otherwise different. I heard in a leadership course in seminary once, “Complacency is an enemy of excellence.” As we work our way into the excellent worship experience we hope to lead every week, we’ll do our best to avoid complacency and keep church a little weird, knowing that God shows up in the most unexpected, unpredictable, uncontrollable ways.

Thanks for sticking with us through it all. And, as always, thanks for your generosity in supporting the mission we all share together!

God’s blessings!

Pastor Chris Zuraff

P.S. We’ll read 1 Samuel 17:1-50 in worship this weekend as we focus in on David and his early life. His battle with the giant, Goliath, is a story for our lives today!
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