This last Sunday, Saturday Night Live! celebrated its fortieth anniversary. I will admit, as one who does not have regular broadcast television, that I didn’t see it. In fact, I was at the fantastic Sweethearts’ Dinner. But! Were I home, I would not have managed to get it, because I don’t have cable, but simply internet, by choice–not by force.
I have, however, invested a little bit of time in watching clips on YouTube. The best ones immediately pop up when one types in “SNL 40,” and all of the ads are skippable. Amongst the brilliance was Jerry Seinfeld calling Sarah Palin “Tina Fey,” Jane Curtin making fun of Fox News, and Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake rapping nothing but references to the shows of the past. But seeing that one made me think for a second–hey, wait–isn’t Midway Hills 60 years old?!
We are. This congregation was founded in early 1955. It is now 2015.
Congratulations, everyone! We’ve made it sixty years! Here’s to sixty more! (David, please put a picture of confetti in the Echo.)
We did it! If it were a hundred years ago, we could close down shop if we wanted–we outlived the life expectancy around. As of right now, we’d need another eighteen years or so to really hit the nail on the head. Also, to those 79 or older, well done!
But we did it! Midway Hills is the grand-dam of progressive churches in the Dallas area. We’ve been around the block–from MLK and segregation in the 60s to women’s rights in the 70’s to confronting the AIDS crisis and including the LGBTQ community in the 80s to addressing guns, immigration and freedom of religion the last few decades, we’ve had a hell of a run. Congratulations, I’d like to thank our musical guest and crew…
Wait, no. We don’t get to sign off. Heck, we don’t even get to recycle gags like SNL does.
It is almost midnight right now, turning Tuesday into Wednesday. I have had an incredible two days. I have seen the elders and members of this church step up to surround people who need to feel loved (and even those who don’t) with this cloud of support and comfort. I have been included in meetings about the course of worship, the bend of our justice ministries, and our continued effort to be diverse and inclusive in everything we do to the point where I sleep hard and well every night. I ate amazing food at the Sweethearts’ Banquet, and made some kick-butt jambalaya for the relaunch of the Tolerance Task Force. I’ve prayed with the Elders, visited hospitals and homes and coffee shops, and even pretended to work on a sermon! We’re not doing business as usual, folks–and maybe you already know this: we’re doing business today because we can’t predict tomorrow and yesterday is already dead dead dead.
Today is Ash Wednesday–my clock has turned over, no matter how quickly I’ve typed–and we enter a season of making room for God. Traditionally, that’s repentance and giving things up. But I want you to consider this–can you make more room for Christ? He’s pretty huge, to be honest.
Come to Wednesday dinner and discussion, called the Jesus Practicum, beginning next week at 6:30 p.m. Have some soup, hash out some spiritual practice. Come to worship on Sundays, as we seek Christ as he seeks the I Am in his ministry. In all things, listen to what the Spirit is saying, because the Spirit is bold and loud and beautiful, and talking through Midway Hills.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday. Shalom y’all,