In this response to Rev. Robert’s post “Why Do We Need Church?”, Allison Billard tells us why church is important to her. Allison, her husband Robert and two young sons attend our 10:30 am Sunday worship. Allison is a St. Mark’s vestry member, part of our prayer writers group and writes regularly for Anglican Life.
Do we need church? I can see the argument to the contrary. For the first time in over a decade I haven’t been to church all summer. I can see how families find it difficult and inconvenient and undesirable to get up on Sunday morning and come to church. For people who only ever went a scattered time as a child, or not at all, I honestly can’t see what the appeal might be to give it a try for the first time.
I went to church nearly every sunday with my mom all while I was growing up. I do agree with Rick, whose reflection came ahead of mine, that guilt does still play a part in my getting to church some days (or lots of days, depending on how life is going). But more than that, much more than that, I feel a greater sense of purpose, belonging and just “being” when I’m involved in the church. When I stray away, I quickly feel lost and disconnected.
I feel a longing for church. I love being a part of the faithful community. I love hymns both old and new. I love the traditional bits and a lot of the fun new stuff I’ve encountered too. And I’m so happy to be even a small part of the work of the church, especially at St. Mark’s as we do some rather groundbreaking things in our little corner of the world.
I truly believe that if we are to call ourselves Christian we most certainly need church. We need to gather as a community and worship, celebrate, mourn, and mark the feasts. We need to come together and find ways to make a positive change in our community and the world. We need to reach out and help others. We need to be God in the world and we can only do it together.
If our hope for the church is that it grows and thrives, quite a lot of change will need to occur. At St. Mark’s I am confident we are ready and able to be a part of that change if given the opportunity. I’m no great evangelist but we will all have a part to play in bringing the church to others, sharing our stories, helping people to see what is so wonderful about what we do at church. Afterall:
“A church is not a building, a church is not a steeple, a church is not a resting place, a church is the people…”
Do you know the rest?
“I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together” and so on it goes. It truly is one of the best hymns. It sums it up for all to see. We are the church. So yes, we need church, it needs us, and we have a responsibility to bring it to others who haven’t experienced it like we have.