Monday, June 06, 2005

The Church that Prays

Someone asked me once, "so what do Pastor's do when they have a Sunday off?" I almost always find myself worshipping in another church. Yesterday was no exception as I found myself in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the weekend enjoying their "Festival of Arts" on Friday and Saturday. And yesterday, we worshipped at The Church of the Servant Christian Reformed Church. The Church of the Servant is an "artsy" congregation that has taken great care in the design of their building so the worship space itself enhances the worship experience, rather than undermines it as in most protestant churches. The worship was heavily liturgical, while at the same time warm, engaging, and even occasionally spontaneous.

I was struck during the prayers of the congregation when the "liturgist" prayed by name for the administration of Calvin College as they find themselves in the midst of the fall-out from President Bush's recent trip there. It appears that some of the politically conservative wealthy donors to Calvin did not appreciate the fact that some members of the faculty and staff openly protested President Bushes presence by signing an open letter in the Grand Rapids Press prior to his arrival. Some are apparently threatening to withdraw their giving. Friends in the Grand Rapids area told me that the community has been abuzz around this issue ever since.

Others more politically astute than I have already commented on the expediency of Calvin College's response to a visit from a sitting president. I for one was heartened to see a congregation in the midst of worship willing to make such a politically charged issue a matter of prayer. I suspect that Church of the Servant leans to the left politically (although I have nothing concrete to base this on), yet in the midst of worship I was led in my praying to wonder and pray about things other than Aunt Millies trick knee or whether or not the congregation met their budget last week. Perhaps that's what praying ought to look like?


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