Saturday, January 20, 2007

On Centrepointe

Centrepointe Church had their last service this month. I’m a little sad and reminiscy, even though I don’t go there anymore, as I live in Georgia now. Jim and I went there during Christmas break and I was greeted with a litany of hugs. And that was representative of that community – lots of hugging and love and appreciating each other. That was why I knew it was a good place for me when I first went there. Not that anyone hugged me then, that would be weird, but I sensed the way the people there cared about each other. After hanging at the edges for a while, I soon experienced that care myself.

I got involved with a college etc. bible study, I started playing in the praise band, I started going out for lunch with people after church most Sundays. By the time I graduated college, Centrepointe was a huge part of my life. I loved it because it was a place where I met some wonderful people, and was able to grow as a Christian and member of a community, and also use some of my gifts in leading worship.

The potlucks before communion services made the meaning of that sacrament so much richer and more embodied for me. It was the body of Christ hovering over fruit salad AND later saying to me “the blood of Christ, shed for you.” The whole event was communion.

Another thing about the people at Centrepointe is that they are so fun, interesting, and smart. Our bible study often featured complex discussions of theological and practical issues. It also included close readings of obscure texts (some of which were too bizarre for us to make much sense out of – see some of the minor prophets). The meeting I remember the most vividly is when we cancelled our plans and instead watched a thunderstorm come in through the storefront windows. It was beautiful and exciting and exactly the right thing to do.

I wish I could recount all the wonderful moments, great memories and inside jokes (those are never as funny when you weren’t there anyway, and some of these need to be sung). But Centrepointe was the first church I chose for myself, although I’m beginning to believe that churches choose us. It was where I learned to be a member of a community as something like an adult – to bring things to potlucks and join committees. I know this change was what needed to happen now, but I didn’t want to see it pass without remembering what that church body meant to me. It meant quite a bit – more than I can express in a blog post. Thanks be to God.

1 comment:

Morgan said...

That thunderstorm was awesome, and was a perfect experience of God. I think that often about Centrepointe, that we were the type of body that could stop to watch a thunderstorm, and that's actually a pretty good metaphor about why we're closing. We could have kept going about doing what we were doing, but there was a holy spirit thunderstorm going on, and as much as it hurt, we have to leave what we were doing to go watch it, and be consumed by it.

I love that you say "churches choose us." I think I'm starting to feel that way too.

I love you, Bethany.