Remembering 'The Real Church"
A recent visitor commented at the door, "This reminds me of a real church, like the one I grew up in."
The architecture alone would be enough remind someone of The Real Church of their childhood. Perhaps the visitor means to say 'A Real Church' as in classical early American. Or, perhaps what was meant is reference to the hymns (we had three oldies but goodies that Sunday). Or, the simplicity of the liturgy or order of service might be another point of reference.
The comment was a compliment to the decades of tradition built up around KCC. It reminds (some) visitors of a day largely past; sanctified nostalgia; the faith rooted in tradition.
However, for others, the architecture, hymns, sermon and service demonstrate not a Real church but an Irrelevant, boring or out of touch congregation; happily stuck in the past. A few visitors 'connect' with us and return; many do not.
I think every week about those who do not return to what we think of as a Real Church. I feel badly when people do not return, but not very. We are what we are. The architecture, the hymns and all the rest, including us, are the church because the Gospel (as we seek to understand it) makes the church Real. So too the Sacraments, and the people (you and me), and the love we share and the service to others less fortunate that we try to give. We are far from perfect, but no congregation is. For all of our antique trappings, we are thankful for what the Holy Spirit makes out of us -- The Real Church.
Bless you all.