Through the course of this summer many of us have had the opportunity to step away from the “usual” and the “everyday” with a bit of what the British call "holiday".  Holiday affords us the time and occasion to explore a bit beyond ourselves, to travel, to see what we have never seen, or perhaps to see something again with newly awakened and opened eyes; to see what’s really there.  For many, holiday is the chance to read. 

This summer Judyth came home from one of those forays into a new town where she found a wonderful bookstore.  Among the treasures she brought home was a present for me, a copy of a book of writings of Anne Lamott, one of my favorite writers.  Though some of the essays were ones I had read in the past, they nevertheless offered new perspectives since I was so different from where I once was, and who I used to be. 

In one of those essays, Anne described the church she literally stumbled into one day and where she has worshipped ever since as a “kitchen church”.  Calling it a “kitchen church”, she suggests that it was not a church-on-display, (but consists of) … people who need and want to be here…..they let me be; and they let me be with them, and let me find Him (God) the best I could.  

One of the challenges of an historic church like Christ Church is to see ourselves as more than a “church on display”. Yes, lots of people on holiday come to Christ Church to explore its history and to sit in the pews where others of note have sat in the past.  But Christ Church is a whole lot more than a “church on display”, I hope the members of Christ Church and those who come to visit will find it more like a “kitchen church”- -where we can mess around a bit, explore where and how we fit into God’s great scheme, learn how with a bit of play and prayer, experimentation with worship, as well as exploration in a variety of social gatherings and service programs and projects, we might learn who we really are, how we have been blessed, and rise to the invitation and challenge to live our lives deep in our souls.

Returning from our holidays, we shall keep on keeping on.  Likely here in this kitchen church there will likely be nothing extraordinary - no flashes, smoke, or mirrors - just church being the church which in these days is hard, but good, fulfilling work.  Christ Church will be plain-speaking, open and real; a kitchen of gathering, prayer and the oft-times messy work of sharing hopes and dreams, fears and worries that a new vision for the future be shaped with joy and thanksgiving.