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..: stories

..: Moving Back In

So, tonight I actually had that old feeling again. That feeling like I really needed to vent in a personal/public space. The RageBomb. Sitting there at Starbucks, I wrote in my journal, but knew that I really wanted to post my frustration here too.

Not so much frustration really, as sadness. This week, I finally left my church, Epic. I haven't attended in months, but for me, leaving was in the rather cold experience I had in making the final changes to the Epic site that were requested of me, and long overdue. It was one of the last fingerprints I had on the church, and it was time to clean up as much as I could. Worked two nights on it, navigating through code I barely remembered. I was fine, not feeling too bad, until I went to the message board.

Someone had very written about how upset they were about a small group called Ground Swell. I was in Ground Swell, many months ago. The writer of this post said that he couldn't understand Ground Swell, and was frustrated that the people who went to it weren't even attending (loyal) to Epic anymore. Ugh, that might have well been in reference to me. I was so sad. It was hard enough to leave, but get a kick on the way out?

Brought back many memories for me about Ground Swell. It was a group of about 12 of us, that first group. We met every Saturday at 7am, and it was tough to get there from 50 miles away. But I did, and never regret it, ever. We looked at tough concepts that shook the foundation of my faith. I have never been the same since, I will never be the same Christian. Ground Swell went on to have a second group, and now I hear they are planning a third. A still, people are misunderstanding it, and the people who attended the first two. Not my fight to fight anymore.

I told myself it was unavoidable, when leaders leave churches, people feel bad. But my old secret fears came to the surface. You know, the ones about what I might have done to contribute to this poster's frustration, sense of betrayal. I know that while I was at Epic, I wasn't the most loving person. I attacked church and ministry the way I did work: people are peripheral to the cause. That might be okay at work, but it is not what community is about. In fact, I only know slightly more about community than when I first started attending Epic years ago. And all I know is this: I need it, I don't know how to get it, I don't value it, I don't know it when I see it.

So I just finished up packing my bags on the Epic site. Over the year that the site was up, I wrote several articles for them, and they were exclusive to the Epicenter. I copied them, added them here too. A few are good ones.

Tomorrow is the big day. After months of avoiding organized worship, KJ and I will attend a random church in our area. We'll arrive at their 11am service, walk in, rate the church, and leave. I've been dreading this so much. I am so tired of going to churches, putting down roots, being open with strangers, letting strangers be friends, and then leaving. We picked a church out of the phone book.

Monday, my coworker (to call him opinionated is an understatement) said this: I've been to some of these new churches out in Orange County, around. They aren't like what you're used to, like the one you go to. They play contemporary music, it's casual and relaxed. They are aiming at a new generation.

"That's called postmodern," I said. It felt like years since I said "postmodern." I felt like I was a Dagobah-imprisoned Yoda saying "Let's ask the Jedi Council." Words spoken long ago, with much significance, lifeless now.

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