A perfect church

You know that song, Just a perfect day? Well I found myself wondering today what would constitute a perfect church. I know the old adage that if ever I found a perfect church and joined it or went along, then it wouldn’t be perfect anymore. But suppose….. just suppose…… we could have the absolutely perfect church. What would it be like?

  • Everyone would be welcome
  • No matter what they wore
  • No matter what gender, sexuality or political persuasion
  • Perversions not allowed
  • But they would be acknowledge and help would be found
  • We would listen to each other
  • We would share worship either in silence or charity/forbearance
  • We would help each other in practical ways
  • The building would be a comfortable temperature
  • We would laugh with one another not at one another
  • We would take turns in leading or enabling worship

And everyone would know that they are loved. That’s what the church is called to do. It’s not a building so much as a community.

What do you think?

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14 Responses to A perfect church

  1. Marcia Mayo says:

    My church is a wonderful large city downtown church. The great majority are gay men, which I love, because they tend to be good looking and they hug me a lot. We are very open to all, which sometimes causes minor problems. Occasionally homeless people come in and fall asleep, sometimes with their heads landing on someone’s shoulder.
    It’s the place I feel closest to God (other than the beach or the mountains).

  2. freda says:

    Sounds wonderful, Marcia, and just the right place for homeless people. I’m so pleased you are worshipping in such a place.

  3. I’m still feeling my way, with difficulty and taking ten steps back for every dozen forward. Coming to Christianity so late in life, with a lifetime’s sins, grey patches and downright black holes makes me more hesitant than most I fear. Nevertheless this morning,s service at St. M’s was lovely. Happy, good singing, good sermon, amusing antics from our ‘clown prince’ of a curate and I left feeling better than when I arrived.
    Not much, in the scale of things, but, enough to make St.M’s my perfect church.

  4. Pingback: Gentle care | What’s the Story in Dalamory

  5. Tim says:

    Sounds about right to me. I noted part of a prayer this morning was for other churches in the body of Christ, or some such wording – I expect the phrasing was rather better.

    My question is, what activities does this utopia involve?

    I do like the idea of a church that has a fair core *and* is open enough to experiment – “this week the 6pm slot will be a Taizé service” before going back to the usual routine, or something.

  6. Mina says:

    I would add to your list that the perfect church need not be in a ‘formal’ building as the people are the church, not the building as some seem to feel. Also can I add perfectly behaved children and a creche for them and those not so perfect, loved though they may be.

  7. freda says:

    Another thumbs up from Ray – I am very pleased to hear that you felt better after church; so often when my children were young, I was exhausted coming back from church.

    Tim – of course! I forget to mention activities and good works. Well for me, some kind of discussion group is helpful and good fun, and then there are the peripheral activities that go on for different groups of people. The list is endless really.

  8. Kimberly says:

    in the spirit of ‘dogs welcome’ — my vestry secretary and I have been just been talking about the possibility of liturgical knitting, and encouraging the kids knitting class to feel free to bring their work into church on a sunday. It’s a step up from always-available play-doh, for those who need to keep their hands busy in order to focus better in prayer.

    and then, I suppose, we can knit beads in, and work our way back to the rosary…

  9. freda says:

    That’s an excellent idea, Kimberly, mind you play-dog is a good one too. Our church has knitting ‘n natter coffee groups, but liturgical knitting definitely appeals. Who is it has the prayer shawl pattern again?

  10. RevRuth says:

    Me! 57 stitches of chunky-ish wool, or feathery/nobbly stuff, and then knit 3, purl 3 every row (always beginning knit 3).

    Found this somewhere…
    A Church Near You:
    a place to be encouraged
    a place to share
    a place to question
    a place for doubt
    a place to get away
    a place to come home
    a place to cry
    a place to be comforted
    a place to learn from all ages
    a place to be

    A place for prayer
    A place to celebrate
    A place to remember
    A place for peace
    A place for family
    A place for friends
    A place for hope
    A place for today
    A place for tomorrow
    A place to grow
    A place to meet God

  11. Bill says:

    All churches struggle to do their best. I love the qualities you and RevRuth mention. When you find such a church let me know and I will be there.

  12. freda says:

    Thanks for the shawl instructions, Ruth. Presumably it can be made any size? And is the idea to say prayers for the recipient?

    I love the “Church near you…..” It puts the whole thing much more simply.

    Bill, I’m not sure what to say except to hope that you find one. I like the bits in Ruth’s list that refer to doubts and questions. Being a church is kind of like being on a journey with others. You could say it is a bit like blogging in a way.

  13. Penny Nash says:

    I love your list. The only part that I think might truly be impossible would be the “comfortable temperature” one.

  14. Sheila says:

    Not being a church goer I thought I wouldn’t comment. But really your list looks like it would be welcome anywhere. Even in an RV community like the one I am living in for a couple of months.

    Kimberly’s comment reminded me of this. One year when teaching I had a particularly difficult group of children and in desperation introduced them to “spool knitting.” It was a life saver. The “fidgets” were now productive. One fellow’s project went the length of the hall! And he was a good listener while his hands were busy.

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