church is EVERYWHERE!
Warm winds blowing,
Heating blue sky,
And a road that goes forever,
I’m going to Texas.
I left Denver reluctantly, (it really is a great place and I learnt so much and saw so much).
I began my trip to Texas. And I’ll be honest I had no idea what to expect.
Well, let me tell you EVERYTHING you read about Texas is true.
It IS big; it IS brash; it IS a place of extremes.
I was privileged to have been invited to stay with David and Megan (@rev_David and @megateer)
and I was met by David at the airport (one of three in Houston – told you they do it big!). David and I had chatted a bit on Twitter and had a Skype chat once but it would be a stretch to say we were aquatinted. So with some trepidation I climbed into a strange car, in a strange city with a strange man.
If only I knew then how strange he is!!
We circled Houston (it is a massive city) and headed towards where I was to stay. The trip would take about an hour or so. I settled in and we began to make conversation. What was I going to say? It would be all God talk about how wonderful our respective churches are and then would we try and out holy each other. I had imagined it, “My church has 2,000 members.” “That’s nice, we do our sermon in tongues we are so holy.” “Hey, that’s great – we crucify our elders weekly to show how much we love Jesus.” “Who is Jesus?” I was dreading it. (Slight exaggeration but it increases the tension.)
Well, within ten minutes we were done being fakely holy and were geeking it up, finishing each other’s sentences and laughing like old friends. David pointed out this and that (including the way to NASA!!!!!!) and then as we entered the burbs the signs started. Huge (and I mean HUGE) religious billboards for various mega churches and ‘Christian’ organisations. Think Queensland but like they really mean it and are not just pretending. My new friend and host told me of the proven correlation – the more big Christian signs there are the more sex shops and strip joints there are. Which is the response to which, I asked myself???
After passing the sex shops and gun stores and big signs etc etc we arrived at my guest house for the next few days. I then found my next nice surprise – Lucy the beagle/corgi cross, another new friend!!! (click the picture to see her)
Next surprise – a comic book store / coffee shop right round the corner. Geek nirvana! My final surprise was when Megan turned up – another geeky friend. This was going to be a good week!!
Unlike last week, most of this week was to be about computer stuff for online ministry. It wasn’t going to be a hands on, active service week like last week – or so I thought.
There was a lot of computer work – I watched (and took part) as David moderated the weekly online twitter chat #chsocm. I try to join in with that as often as I can and most of the people I was visiting are active in the Church and Social Media (CHSOCM) community.
Watching the magic of moderating happen was a lot of fun but not what I expected.
I expected this…..
I got this……
And this was superb – I learnt so much.
I also participated in a podcast for the Church of the Geek. This podcast was on Pilgrimage and will be available on Aug 15th (ish). I’ll link to it from here when it’s available. That was a lot of fun too and again, I learnt much. I had Facebook and Twitter lessons, fantastic stuff.
David was very generous with his time and talent and I will be implementing what he taught me when I get back and have time. I cannot thank him and Megan and Lucy (and the cats!) enough. But again I say, “Thank you!”
It wouldn’t make a good blog to read all about the two of us sitting in front of computers and geeking out over Facebook and Twitter.
What it did re-enforce in me was the fact that Church is EVERYWHERE. We did Church in the car, we did Church eating TexMex with a Bishop, we even did Church at NASA – see the next blog for that!!!
More and more as I travel around this vast country and meet people I realise that church (and by church I mean Christian living) is done very simply here. With the people I have met it is a part of everyday life and not just part of a busy Sunday. Its wonderful – church is part of the everyday lives of people, it is part of their community, it is their community….
church is EVERYWHERE!!!!