I have a love/hate relationship with journaling. For a few decades now, I have carried a journal around with me. I get a little picky about the journals I use. I always use them for various notes throughout my day, sermon notes, lists, doodles, etc., and hopefully for drawings during conversations (it is almost always a good conversation when a drawing is involved). Sometimes, hopefully more times than not, I journal in them about what happens during my days and my thoughts about various things. Then I go for a period without journaling about my days. Eventually, I’ll start up again because I really prefer it when I am journaling.
The reason I bring this up right now is that I was thinking about how this is a good time to be journaling. The things that are going on right now are events that we should think through and consider. I believe journaling helps us do. There is just something about writing on paper that I believe helps in truly considering our days. At least, it helps me to sort through what I am thinking and feeling during tough days, and these are tough days. I also believe this is a good time to journal because these are unique days. This time will be something we will want to look back on, our kids, and grandkids will want to see what we were doing and what we were thinking. So I encourage us all to journal, at least a little bit. If not for us, for our grandkids. Pam has the equivalent of a bullet journal from her circuit riding, Methodist minister of a great-grandfather. It is pretty cool to read what he did each day.
Over the past few days, I have read and heard several people making wonderful statements about supporting local businesses during this crisis. This is a great idea. I love local businesses. They have a local flavor. I am really thankful for chains when I am on the road and don’t have time to discover a local place, but when I am in a place with a friend who knows the area or have time to explore I would much rather eat at a local restaurant. Some place that “tastes” like that locale. Someplace that I can’t get in any other town. The same is true with other local businesses. They have the flavor of their town.
If it is an option, and for many it won’t be, we should consider buying take out meals from local restaurants and gift certificates from local businesses to help them make it through this rough period.
I believe this is also true of small churches. They have the flavor of their community. There are some wonderful HUGE web-based churches that produce some first-class, professional, smooth videos and teachings that can be consumed on the internet. I’m thankful for them in the same way that I am thankful for Lowes or Menards. Lowes is where I went when I needed boxes in Prattville, Alabama to help my mother move. That’s because I didn’t know what the local equivalent of Franks Hardware was in Prattville. Lowes “tastes” like nowhere. Franks “tastes” like Point.
Those monster national web-based churches don’t “taste” like Point and they probably don’t “taste” like your home either. They are the equivalent of going to a Sandals resort. To paraphrase Douglas Adams writing in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” they are almost, but not quite, completely unlike your hometown. Those churches probably don’t want to taste like your home because they are trying to reach people all over the US and world. Like Target they are a homogenous. They look and feel a little bit like everywhere, but not really like anywhere. Your local church is trying to reach people in your hometown so it feels like your hometown. Your small local church is different and this crisis is going to be very difficult for many of them. I would encourage you to support your small local church.
The megabox stores are going to survive this crisis, while our local businesses are going to seriously struggle. I fear the same is true for small local churches.
“Threads” this post isn’t meant to worry you about Tapestry. We aren’t going anywhere. Since we don’t have our own building our expenses actually went down because we aren’t paying rent for however long this thing goes on. Yeah for being a nomadic church!