The other day, my roommate said to me, “I think you like the church as an institution more than you like Jesus.” This analyzation made me angry. Mostly because he knew that I had no comeback. Because it was something I had never considered before and the more I thought about it, the more I knew he might be right.
I’ve spent this week trying to figure out if he’s actually correct and, if so, why? I have had a lot of moments in the past few weeks that have made me incredibly proud to have been raised at Westminster and lucky to have found Riviera in Miami. I either see a post on Facebook by a church member that makes me smile or I answer a job interview question referencing a minister who nurtured my faith life as a child. I think I tend to love the church because I don’t personally have a lot of reason not to.
Without further ado, here are some bullet points of appreciation toward the worshipping communities and people who have made me struggle with the fact that I may like the church more than I like Jesus.
- to Haywood, Betty, Monica, Jack, Chris, Nancy, Paul, Barbara, Taylor, Barb, Kara, Heather, Tommy, Stephanie, Beth, Michelle, Missy, Danny, and Barbie (and anyone else I likely forgot…sorry!): thank you for showing me the many, diverse ways ministry can look.
- to Westminster: thank you for backing all that you do with “seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.”
- to the Presbyterian-Episcopal Campus Ministry/3rd Place: thank you for teaching me that worship can happen anywhere and at any time of day.
- to Riviera: thank you for energetically welcoming my roommates and I into your family this year.
One of my best friends has been doing research on millennials who are staying with the Church. He has asked me about my own story and input, but I don’t have much to say on the subject. I’m “choosing” to stay with the Church because, for me, there’s no better option. It hasn’t been a question for me up to this point in my life and I believe that’s because of the communities I have been a part of. I’m not saying that Westminster, PECM, and Riviera are perfect examples of how to be the Church, but they have definitely been positive forces in my life. Yes, I need to do some personal work on my spirituality, but (right now) I’m not ashamed of my love for the institutional church.
WPC fam (you’re welcome)