Reflecting on Community, Celebration, and Corporate Confession (Warning – Alliterated Title May Be More Interesting Than the Post ;-)

Primary Audience – Not really sure, this is a kinda of a boring life post but it’s what on my mind so …
Secondary Audience – Still not sure, this is a … lol

Reflecting on Community, Celebration, and Corporate Confession

(Warning: Alliterated Title May Be More Interesting Than the Post ;-)

As an amateur blogger, I try to avoid certain things such as how terrible everything is or how wonderful my life is. Aside from posts entitled “Encouraged and Discouraged”, “The Bad, the Good, and Dylan’s 1 Year”, I have no idea on how I am actually doing on that .

That said, it was a pretty eventful weekend and I cannot stop thinking about it.

On Friday night, we enjoyed dinner with dear friends. There were 3 couples and all of us find ourselves in a time of blessing and a time of uncertainty. We all have beautiful, healthy children but we all also have needs and uncertainties that we share with each other and with others in our church community. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we are extremely grateful for this in the midst of the stress and the frustration of particular circumstances.

I leave these types of evenings very grateful for the Church. I know there are millions of couples that get together with no/little religious context and there may be a different bond that brings them together. Whether it be work or a sports team or the arts or any other reason, many times there is this wonderful moment of unity from the commonality of living life together.

I know I have enjoyed this moment with some of my non-believing friends as well. For some, it may mean that just like that sports team or that art is the hobby/interest/passion that brings them together, “God” is the same/similar hobby/interest/passion. I used to wonder if there was any truth to that. Now I think it’s a reflection of God’s natural grace that is extended to all. If we are all created in the image of God it stands to reason that we have this divine capacity within all of us. People like CS Lewis would go further and argue that this is where our sense of morality comes from (Read Mere Christianity for more on that).

Pardon the rabbit trail. Like I was saying, we had a great time with our friends on Friday night. Saturday was fantastic as well. We had Dylan’s first birthday party with some dear family and friends. People keep saying it’s flown by and in some sense it’s true, but in a lot of ways it’s felt like a year should have. I may regret thinking this and in a few mornings, I may be waking up to the day of his high school graduation but I think my reflective nature slows some things down for me.

As far as one year old parties go, it was a pretty fun time. Good food, hot  cider, Charlie Brown Halloween Special (Susan is a big fan), pumpkin  and cookie decorating and gift bags filled with candy (which no one took  enough). In addition to being the proud father, we were honored to have  so many loved ones with us. Some dear friends made a pretty long drive to  make it – we are very grateful for all of them. And as if life could not have  gotten any better, Fox and Cablevision decided to settle their dispute (I’m  just kidding about this – it did not really add to the joy of the night but it  was nice cleaning up while finally watching the World Series.). It was  also cool that my dad and brother spent the night while my mom went over to her sister’s (“Girls Night” never ends).   (We missed you Lina! umm, and you too, Kim and Tony ;-)

Then there was Sunday. A quick bit of context here – Our church is undergoing a time of vision discovery as we celebrate and move through our 50th Anniversary. Sunday was supposed to be the pastor’s “proclamation” of the grand vision. Sam opened the sermon with the Mel Brooks illustration of Moses coming down the mountain and saying, “Hear me, the Lord Jehovah has given unto you 15 Commandme … (dropping one of the tablets and watching it shatter) 10, 10 Commandments for all to obey!” I laugh every time I think of that – could be one of my favorite movie moments ever.

Anyway as Sam shared more of his take on the process, he wisely said that although he has a vision that the he and the elders (the pastoral staff, and many throughout the congregation) have confirmed in broad strokes, we have too many unresolved issues as a congregation that we need to confess before we can move forward. By the end of the message, we had written our personal unresolved issue that has hindered us from God’s will, brought it to the front, and at the end of the service, the elders came forward carried the baskets of paper outside, where we gathered and watched them burn them in a fire.

We’re not an altar call type of church, and most our drama is conducted subtly (until it’s not), so this was a quite the expressive corporate gesture for us and it was beautiful. For those outside our church community, Sam isn’t a showman at all. And if anyone had any doubt, once the “corporate confession” burning was over, the final benediction he offered was, “Have a good week.” (I would have yelled something more Braveheartesque, like “Are you ready for a spiritual war???” or “Freeeeeeedooooooo ……mmm” then quickly inserting “in Christ” while the masses raised their King James’ and Hymnals. (yes, I capitalized the “H” in hymnals intentionally).

Getting back to seriousness for a moment, I really was proud of us as a Church in this moment. Depending on where we go from here, it could all be just an emotional go through the motions, campy throwback or it could be something greater. It could be a turning point that reflected something that many of us had already done individually but finally got to do together. May the Lord lead us.

I could go on and on about pictures, and opening presents, eating and giving away the left-overs, Susan and I taking the boys trick or treating but it was such a great weekend for me personally, for us as a family, and for us a church.

Happy First Dylan!


  1. Well, despite being an amateur blogging post with no primary audience, haha! it really wasn’t so bad!

    But seriously, I just stumbled across your site from JRDKirk’s, eventually hearkening back to Brad East’s blog.

    Anyways. Just wanted to drop a line and say hi, blessings, and looking forward to checking back in!

  2. Thanks for reading Justin.

    Yeah, I love Dan’s blog too – he’s got some excellent thoughts there. I’ll have to check out yours too.

    See you around.

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