Open the Church

Today is the first Sunday that I haven’t been in church since embarking on this adventure.

The first Sunday we attended an ELCA-equivalent church with our German friends in Ulm.  I couldn’t understand a word of it but they were relatively liturgical so I could somewhat track the flow of the service.  Last Sunday I visited the Anglican chaplaincy near the University of Strasbourg.  But I already told you about that.

Today we are in Paris.  I’ll begin by admitting that getting to church today was not a priority, and I don’t feel bad saying that.  And neither should you – upon rare occasion.  Church is a blessing of God, not a law.  Sometimes it’s OK to take a day off.  I won’t yell at you.  Just don’t let the one Sunday become two, and then three, and then however many.  Don’t do it too often or you begin to forget the many gifts that God gives you in Word and Sacrament ministry.

But every now and then, by all means, skip.

We talked about trying to find a Lutheran church in the area last night but were both exhausted from two weeks with many wonderful people.  So it was that, to quote the Beatles, “there were bells on a hill but I never heard them ringing”.  Not until rather late in the morning at least.

So upon gathering enough senses I decided to investigate what Lutheran churches there were in Paris.  I won’t ask you to venture a guess.

Zero.  None.  Zilch.  At least according to Google maps.  There is a Trinity Lutheran Church in southern Paris but it isn’t Lutheran, it’s ecumenical with a Baptist preacher.  In all of France I could only find listings for a total of three Lutheran churches, and I didn’t bother to check if the other two – in the same town on the German border – were actually Lutheran or not.

Perhaps there is a group of churches that we are in association with, but if so, they don’t describe themselves as Lutheran.  Hard to believe that we could have so little presence in someplace so close to where the Reformation began.  Comparatively speaking, at least.  I’m all for the mission efforts of our polity (though don’t get me started on what I think of their current mechanisms for this), but I hope that someday we come back to the Continent, missionally speaking.

2 Responses to “Open the Church”

  1. JP Says:

    Don’t get me started, either. 😉

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