The church I attend every Sunday is called Watermark. It is the home of many young souls wild about Christ and old pews and lots of coffee. Our pastor teaches us about the incredible symbolism and intentionally of God in scripture and we sing songs about love and grace and trials. After service, children run through the aisles as parents gather together. Our building once held ugly carpet and a 1960’s baptismal and many loyal Baptists who sold their building to us for far less than it was worth. We said we wanted to raise our children in that building and learn about God together and though our offer was about half of those who wanted to knock the church over and build apartments, they picked us to fill the rooms.
I’ve attended this church for about 5 years and it’s precious to my heart. It is not, however, the only church I attend.
My other church is sometimes at the kitchen table, sometimes outside on a picnic blanket, sometimes in other states. Most recently, that church was gathered in my living room in the form of book club. Six of us, holding “Cold Tangerines” in our laps, talking about the ways that Shauna Niequist seemingly stole pages from our diaries and wrote the words of our heart. We remarked how relatable her words on celebration were and how jealous we were of her travels and how we need to stop living like we’re waiting. Life is here! It’s now! It’s exploding out of every clap of laughter!
Candle light bounced off our wine glasses and we ate more baked brie than our diets would have permitted. We unapologetically followed every rabbit trail that came up in conversation and somehow turned Shauna’s words on joy into sharing stories of embarrassing haircuts and outfits in middle school (think wayyy too short bangs and neon green overalls). We laughed so hard that we cried. We sat that day’s busyness and bothers at the door and were present for one another.
We didn’t talk all that much about God but I think that when His people are gathered together in friendship and joy and lightness, it’s still church. It’s still life giving and gorgeous.
Book club. Church. Praise God.