In Memory of the First Church I Served

I googled the first church I served today and found out that it ceased to exist (in the form that I knew it) in September of last year. They have since moved to another location and started over.

It made me a little sad because that congregation was so gracious to me as a seminary student. I'd learn something at seminary and they would allow me to experiment on them, week after week.

We struggled while there to know what the future of that little church would be. They were smack dab in the midst of apartment complexes on every side, but had little strategy to meet the needs of that area, or the transitioning neighborhoods around them. Truth be told, this move to the new place was 20 years in coming and probably is 20 years too late to keep this church around for the long haul. They just kept doing what they had been doing since the early 70's and were surprised that no one was responding to that approach.

Why is it that the church is the last place to react and redirect itself given the conditions of the community? Have we become so cemented in what we want and what we like in church that we are totally oblivious to the world around us? God forgive us if that's the answer.

I was a little sad today to hear the news. Many memories flooded my mind as I thought about them and countless names came to mind that I haven't thought of in years. This post is in memory of the first church I served.