On Practices and props for Church Building, March 2018.
The thing I’m most passionate about with regards to the Church is her table practice. Every day I hear the church has a crisis of this, & a crisis of that. I rarely agree. I see one crisis: we mostly don’t believe in The Lord’s Supper, or orient our communities around the meal. – Johnathan Martin
How to build a house church using a table (and a bell, book and a candle)
Upon the rather unnerving and yet delightful realisation* that I was actually here to build a church of sorts; a holy and sacred establishment in the middle of nowhere, it came to my attention that it would be wise to look to the practices, rituals and processes of the towers of faith that we already have.
In order to establish a church, temple and convent for the faithless and the hungry and the lost, what exactly was one to do? It is true to say that many of these towers of faith have been (rightly so perhaps) rejected, denied or despised following their corruption and the advent of The God of Science. But surely, in amongst all that, they did create some of the most profoundly beautiful spaces, places, processes and practices humanity has ever seen. In our attempts to commune with the Divine, we have made some serious wonder of our own.
So, like all good artists, I could steal and borrow. Of course I could. To borrow from the things that have longevity, efficacy and are proven. The things that work. The things that have magic in them.
I could take what I needed, mix it up with what I wanted, blend it with what I deeply desire. I could gently and ferociously demand it into the world.
I could raise a cathedral from the earth with my bare bear hands and my heart and my tears.
All I had to do was learn how that was done.
So I went back to the beginnings. And the beginnings always begin with a Calling.
A Call to Practice. A Call to Prayer. A Call to Silence.
That is how to begin.
That is how you start to build a church.
*due in the most part to much prophetic and mystical adventure up a mountain (which, for the record, requires sleeping a great deal and eating a lot of pancakes).