We’re selling our church. Just the building. To another church.
The other church is not like our church. They do not use the same liturgy, sing the same songs or, in a few cases, share the same beliefs. And nothing could make us happier.
Is it because we’re different but the same? Absolutely!
We are the Congregational United Church of Christ, an old denomination with a newer name. We go back to the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, drowning witches and putting people in stocks for skipping Sunday services.
They are Kingdom Life Christian Church, a new independent congregation that started in a store front and never drowned anyone or put anybody in stocks – though they’ve baptized more than a few, and few of those good folk have missed any Sunday services, but if they did, what they missed was lots of good food and fellowship.
They’re turning 12 years old; we’re nearly 400. We’re moving west, toward the Gulf; they’re putting down roots there. We’re going elsewhere to grow, and they are growing like crazy.
Does any of this sound like we like ’em? It should, ’cause we do. And they like us, too. No, we’re fond of each other. Well, OK, yeah, we love each other.
They may not be exactly like us, and they may not even believe exactly like us, but they sure do behave a lot like Jesus Christ. So, yeah, we think they’re great, and we think we’re leaving our building in good hands.
This all happened because we wanted to sell and move, and they needed a place to do more church. So we shifted our worship times around and, like that guy Jesus, made room.
They even came to our rescue with Sunday morning keyboard skills that helped us to sing.
We weren’t sure, at first. They being different and all. But they were just too nice, too kind, too loving – way too much like Jesus to do anything but say yes.
So the schedule now involves their taking over the building and grounds at the end of January 2018. We’ll hang around for awhile, at least through the end of April, and our Kids Club Early Learning Center will stay on as long as they’re willing to have us. Which looks like a long time, since it’s clear we’re not just willing but wanting to do things together.
We’re going to show some of that togetherness Sunday evening, and the community is invited. Not for a formal worship service, but for a free concert.
Our 11th annual Spectacular Spectacular Community Christmas Concert, to be exact. We’ll have two great tenors and an awesome contralto, half a dozen incredible musicians and a rousing chorus, and just like both our churches, it’ll be absolutely free and open to everyone.
What’s more, because Kingdom Life has been generous in their invitation, it’s our plan to come back to our mutual church and share it for free with the community each December for years to come.
Which is why we call our Christmas concert, and the relationship between the Congregational United Church of Christ and Kingdom Life Christian Church, by the emphatically redundant name, “Spectacular Spectacular.” Why are we able to do this, now and in the future? Because we’re selling, and they’re buying, our building, but neither church is for sale.
Come see for yourself, Sunday at 6 p.m.