Always Reforming (Reformation Sunday 2023)

For Reformation Sunday we put up a door and invited people to post their own thoughts and suggestions for ongoing reformation of our church. We received 36 responses and want to thank everybody who participated!

  1. All of “us”! No more “them”. Also, no more dogma 
  2. The church as a whole needs to return to the teachings of Jesus. Far too many have tried to put words in his mouth to justify their own beliefs agendas and prejudices. 
  3. All Christians need to open their eyes and hearts to the greater truth of our community and kinship. 
  4. The willingness to think beyond tradition. 
  5. I know we are working on it but more teen and youth activities. 
  6. Christianity should not be the religion known for hatred racism misogyny and hypocrisy. Let Christianity be known for inclusion safety light and love. 
  7. For the wider church and all churches individually: put love at the center… always. 
  8. Too much form at present; But OK. Movement in the service comes from movement in the people and if there is too much form in the context the spirit stalls. 
  9. Christianity in general espouses it is the only true way to believe in God and the need to be “saved.” 
  10. After hearing the plodding of “A mighty fortress is our God” we can improve our music 🙂 Hope that our religion is becoming a force for peace rather than a reason for war. 
  11. There is a person who does not feel welcome here. I think of her each time we say that we welcome everyone. 
  12. Community service, especially homeless, mental illness, and lonely people in nursing homes. 
  13. Time to remember all the memories that we have accomplished throughout the church. A time to wrap up the leftover construction that has to be done. A time to prepare for the seasons of autumn and winter. 
  14. Christian churches, including mainline churches, need to support people’s reproductive choices. There are many. No single choice is right for all! 
  15. Study and learn about liberal, non-literal theology. 
  16. What needs reforming? The notion of “worship” of God. A favorite book title is “Your God is too small”. A God needing our “worship” is not worth such. We owe much more to one another in the human community as God is not as vain as worship suggests. 
  17. Some new hymns reflective of our times would be good. In need of reform: make the invisible visible: people we don’t know, recognize, see, remember; those who are hidden or repressed.  Lift up Stories and voices. Need to better hear the earth’s cries. 
  18. As the intellectual historian Hofstadler wrote decades ago, we Americans have made religion about “man”, about getting something from god for us. Shades of capitalism! Instead, perhaps we could move to focus upon, and see more clearly, and honor God’s breath animating humans; God’s creative, loving presence animating all creation, every hour. 
  19. The church needs to be more broadly welcoming of all. Our church needs to use more contemporary music as part of services. 
  20. Acceptance for all denominations or religions.  
  21. I think that if they choose multiple different subjects it would be nice. 
  22. Have communion every week. More inclusive and less judgment of others. More educational – seek to understand. 
  23. Separation of church and politics needs to be rediscovered as does the unity of Church and justice. 
  24. Perhaps the church doesn’t need to transform as much as I need to transform how I relate to and operate within it so I am part of God’s transformation, trusting God to do the work through me that needs to be done to transform what needs to be transformed. 
  25. Religion is getting in the way of peace, as it has historically. Grappling with all the evil and murder caused by Christianity. The beliefs are the same now as when all the evil was done. Specifically, reform the music. Hymns are generally meaningless and hard to sing. I know there is copyright but surely there is more upbeat music available. The choir is excellent and we are so fortunate to have Chris, But the choice of hymns could be more fitting to our times. 
  26. To remember and hold in our heart that we are called to love one another; to listen and commune with those that may not have the same opinions even 🙂 
  27. The church is often a place of comfort and routine. Jesus is not comfortable. Our churches need to be willing to get uncomfortable to be God’s people in our society. New ideas and change are necessary to be relevant and aligned with God. 
  28. Learn history. Never forget. 
  29. A more diverse congregation. 
  30. Don’t just talk to talk, truly act! Do as Jesus would have us do: love one another! 
  31. More and longer quiet time. Maybe meditation time after children go to their church time.  
  32. More intense exploration of other religions and gospels. 
  33. We need to find our voice and start acting like Jesus would have us do in our community, nation, and world. Let us show them we are Christians by our love for all! 
  34. The whole church could loosen up and be more welcoming. 
  35. We would be a church listening and feeling the power and movement of the Holy Spirit moving through us. 
  36. Two things I would love to see: a worship band rather than hymnal music. The good music worship bands aren’t at a more moderate church like UCC or ELCA. And for Sunday school it would be cool to make the lessons less history based, such as the ark or the plagues, and more life lessons based with Christian backing. How to treat friends, honesty, responsibility, self-discipline, hard work, compassion, forgiveness.