Saturday, June 28, 2008


Ok, when I start seeing social commentary in Pixar movies, I am in deep. I have to confess I am an animation nut. I love Disney movies, I love Pixar movies, with a few exceptions, I love animated shows. I just had the kids to stop the strange looks at movie theaters (ok, I really have always wanted to be a Dad). Thankfully, the Spirit has used this gift to help make the worship at Cheri’s past churches and hopefully the Village as well more relevant (talk to the people in the language of the culture is what the early Christians did to spread the Gospel).

Pixar’s latest effort, WALL E, by the way awesome movie, has me thinking about our culture and where it is headed. WALL E is a robot left on Earth in the future to clean up the planet. Our rampant consumerism has littered the planet with garbage and the Big N Large Corporation has the solution. We will all go on a five year cruise, leaving an army of robots to clean things up. One problem, the planet is just too trashed, the robots can’t get it done, in fact WALL E is the last one standing. Meanwhile, what to do with us, well, we are pampered to the point we can barely walk, bombarded with entertainment, and no one notices that hundreds of years have passed, or even the ship they have grown up has pools. At the start of the cruise, everyone plays golf, tennis, swims, etc. Seven hundred years later, they have robots do it all for them. Why chew? Food is delivered in flavored shakes.

So, could this happen? Well, our five year old told me this week he does not like the outdoors much and really just wants to play video games in doors. Fortunately, he does like sports, and does not have his father’s waistline, yet, despite that statement. Our kids are presented daily with bad food choices, too much entertainment (no I don’t want to totally junk U.S. pop culture, just clean it up some), very little emphasis on movement.

Could we get to the point where we are controlled by food, entertainment, and a general plenty? Well, it’s only been done throughout human history. Let’s hope we don’t trash the planet and ourselves to get there. God gave us this planet, let’s see if we can give it back to God in some shape.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Lately, I have been so grateful for "Call." Call sustains me when I hit obstacles. I have a sense that God is active in my life, and has been preparing me for my whole life to plant the new spiritual community I have come to know as The Village Church.

There are times, in answering the call to plant a church, when I have hit walls in places that I expected to find encouragement. This quote from TS Eliot has sustained me. As I begin this new journey of "blogging" I share this encouraging word.

T. S. Eliot from The Family Reunion

In a world of fugitives the person taking the opposite direction will appear to run away. If the truth has made us odd, if we have not accommodated ourselves out of all recognition, then it will appear to some people that we're running away, that we're living an escapist existence, that we're outsiders, even outlaws -- whereas the truth is that we're the insiders, because we're bearing God's reality, not the world's. We are the true establishment, because we are building and inhabiting God's basilica, the commonwealth of eternity, not earth.

I look forward to being on this journey. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about Call and whatever else . . .

Cheri Holdridge

The Great Adventure

For those of you just joining us, and since as I type this, the only subscribers are the contributors, you're joining us in progress, welcome to the great adventure of the Village. My dream for the Village is church worthy of that title, the church. As a twenty something, I had given up that any organized religion or church was really worthy of it's charter from God. Religion had become about maintaining institutions, not being the change God wanted in the world. I never doubted the existence of a benevolent, creator creature. I never doubted the God had a son, Jesus. I just doubted that any of the "alleged" spokesmen on Earth, really spoke for God any more. It literally took dating a pastor, and since I am married to her now I tend to frown on that as a technique to get people in the door, to get me in the door of a church.

I have seen glimpses of what God wants a church to be, Ginghamsburg UMC in Dayton, OH but they have some theological leanings I didn't like. Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC, but never anyone where I lived and never one that would agree with my belief that I am the political persuasion I am, liberal on most issues, because I am Christian, not inspite of it.

I want a church that lives, not just talks, the message God love us all and asks that we love each other and God. The Village is going to be that church. We are about creating the kingdom, the reign, whatever your language, of God on Earth.

What will that look like? Everyone (black, white, hispanic, asian, gay, straight, rich, poor, literate, illiterate, powerful, powerless, believer and non-believer) is a beloved child of God. We all contribute to each other and the world. We change each other's lives, our families, our community, and our world not to score points to get into heaven, but because that is what you do when you love and are loved.

So, with nothing more than a dream, we are starting from scratch. Setting out on a frontier.

Wanna come along?