The Perfect Church for Imperfect People

The Perfect Church for Imperfect People

June 28, 2013
Written by Daniel Hazard

Donna Schaper

"For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it." - Luke 9:24

You can have what you can let go of and cannot have what you cannot.  This is what Buddhists mean when they say the Buddha is "well-gone."  He got through all the levels on the way to Nirvana, letting each one go in sequence.

Native Americans tell us that the point of life is to keep good relatives.  Anyone who has ever packed a child off to college knows what that means. Keeping good relatives means letting them go.  Native Americans also tell us to stand with them in the puddle of their tears.  Often to fix things, you have to give up on fixing them.   In the Jesus Way, we see that every collapse contains within it a reconstruction.  First we collapse, and then we rise.

What if the UCC became a great church where we stopped trying to get theology right?  What if post-colonial and liberation and neo-orthodox and queer theologies were all considered wrong as well as right?  What if we became the perfect church for imperfect people, the church of unfinished theologies, and found a way to tell our own story without dominating others?

Our Sunday School parents at Judson want less interfaith curricula.  They want us to tell our kids who we think we are.  Some would call that selfish.  I call it relinquishment into our own story, the best way to find a spiritual route home. A spiritual home is a place from which you can go out on an adventure. An adventure always longs for a spiritual home.  You give up home for adventure and adventure for home.  And each is fun.


Help us find something to give up and away, today, and tomorrow, and the next day.

About the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Check out her blog, Grace at Table, at

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