My husband had a minor medical procedure the other day. By mid-late afternoon he told me that what he really wanted for dinner was pizza. And he wanted it delivered from a specific vendor. How easy is that? Pizza ordered. Done.

Two and half hours later, I had made four calls to customer service and one trip to the local vendor, all of which produced no pizza. However, our credit card was charged.

Out of the encounters with the vendor representatives, I would describe one as sad, one as angry, one as apathetic and one as sympathetic but disempowered.

Not surprisingly, two days later, my eye was caught by a David Brooks article in the New York Times entitled How to Save a Sad, Lonely, Angry and Mean Society. He notes that “We’re over-politicized while growing increasingly undermoralized, underspiritualized, undercultured.”

Citing many examples from literature, some from art, and a passing reference to music, he argued that these genres teach us how to sympathetically walk in another’s shoes. And while I found his argument a compelling one, I also thought about the redemptive role of the church.

Over the years, my appreciation of God’s mission for the church has deepened immensely. For example, in worship, we gather to place ourselves before the Holy One. And there we are reminded, again and again, that we humans are beloved, and while flawed, empowered to grow. And that this relationship with God is not a privatized one. God’s Spirit nudges us to service in God’s name to the world Brooks describes as “over-politicized and undermoralized, underspiritualized, undercultured.”

And lucky me – I am at Country Club Christian Church as your interim staff person who has, in a short time, been spiritually challenged by Carla’s and Mike’s faithful sermon proclamations.

And the music…..Great music has always touched places in me that are “too deep for words.” Music engages and inspires our collective soul. Country Club Christian Church’s music ministry is extraordinary thanks to the many gifts offered which are shepherded by Matt.

This ministry faithfulness continues with Bryce, who spearheads programming for all ages with an eye towards serving our community. And thus far, I have experienced these persistently helpful staff members: Tulley, Dan, Shannon, Silas, Leslie, Corey……

I optimistically believe that any of the pizza staff members, exposed regularly to this faith community, might have discovered God’s gracious acceptance which would empower them to serve. Not because they’re paid but because they saw a need and had the means to fill it. May Country Club Christian Church continue to be the community that stands over-against Brook’s depiction, as the place that is “moral”ized and “spiritualized” in the name of our glorious God.