Sep 3, 2012

Day 1 Journey

Day 1: Mon. Sept 3, 2012

Could you do church in a bar?
 
This may seem like a strange question but what is an acceptable place to worship?  Some places seem naturally compatible with Sunday worship - like one church I know that started out in a funeral home chapel.  Other places seem strangely out of place.  You certainly wouldn't want to worship at a Mayan Temple.  
 
But what about a bar?
 
My home congregation in Phoenix did just that.  When the congregation first started there was nothing in that part of Phoenix except a bar.  I imagine it was much like the Vail Steak House with an open room off to the side.  So they went with what they got.  Today the church is on their own property and worships in four services on a Sunday morning.
 
Finding a place to worship is one of the most difficult things for a mission congregation.  I know a congregation that worshipped at four different locations in the first three years.  Each time they moved, it caused quite a bit of confusion.
 
That's why I am so grateful to the Vail School District.  Even though there are many districts across the country that will not allow a church to worship in their facilities (or make it very cost prohibitive to do so), the Vail School District charges a very reasonable fee.  If it weren't for them, we'd probably be competing with other churches to worship at the Vail Steak House!
 
When Christ Lutheran Vail started, the leadership (I wasn't here yet) approached the school district and requested Cienega High School.  Even though other churches had inquired, we were fortunate to sign the contract first.  And we have been able to worship faithfully every Sunday since.
 
There are a whole lot of problems to overcome with new churches.  That's why so many of them fail.  But praise to God and thanks to the Vail School District, finding a place to worship has not been a huge burden for us.
 
Won't you join me today in giving a short prayer of thanksgiving for the Vail School District.
 
"Oh God, thank you for the leadership at the Vail School District.  Thank you that they help the community in so many ways.  Thank you that we have a place to worship on Sunday morning."
 
Amen.
 
Pastor Hook