Or, I have found that the places in the church where I see the work I would like to see happen are on the edges, programs that our larger church body maybe doesn’t fully understand, so the programs don’t get the support they need – like the fact that WLS has an amazing psychotherapy and spiritual care program that people from all faiths and walks of life attend. This doesn’t primarily serve our Lutheran body but it is changing our larger communities for the better. Or that until recently dozens of high school students a year attended a secular Community and environmental leadership programs at Edgewood. These life changing high school experiences sent students back to their schools after a semester of seriously considering how their daily actions, the literature they read, their government, consumer practices etc. affect creation and society.
So I guess this post is just to articulate an anxiety I have as a parent. I see amazing things happening on the edges of our church -- but they aren’t necessarily where we as a church body put our money or appreciation. I have had to find ways outside the church to live out my calling on the edges, and the more young adults, youth and seminary students I meet in the church the more I see them struggling to find the support to live out their faith in new and different ways. Ways we don’t have an infrastructure to support or channel the resources we have towards. Will my daughter feel supported in the work she is called to? I hope we as a church body move more and more towards these edge places and don’t hesitate to affirm and work into the parts of our programming which reach large groups of people, though they are not focused on building our traditional church body.