Are you surrounded by non-churchgoers? Are your grandchildren going to church? After the pandemic and our quarantine, are YOU returning to church?
Pollsters and informal conversation reveal that the church, as an institution, is struggling. But what about the church as a spiritual reality?
This week, in our exploration of the Apostles’ Creed, we’ll look at its statements about the church. “I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of Sins. . ..” Those statements are not about a sociological fact, but a spiritual reality – Christ comes alive in community, where people strive to live as saints and forgive each other as sinners.
Our preacher this week knows his way around the spiritual and institutional church. The Reverend Anton Prange is a long-time Lutheran minister whom I get to see each week in our clergy study group. Anton is regarded by our group as our informal chaplain – and it’s pretty hard to please us! He opens each meeting with a reading of a Psalm that connects our hearts to God. Then he clobbers us with his command of Ancient Greek and Hebrew.
Our group is just one his “churches.” Others have been the hallways and hospital rooms of CHOMP; churches in New Orleans and Lake Charles, Louisiana; the campus of CSUMB; and now local Lutheran churches whom he serves as Guest Minister.
I know Anton will inspire us to think wider and higher about the church – wherever Christ shows up!