Some churches wear their history like a feathered cape — with the past thrown lightly over the shoulders of the present. The past is color, context, and dramatic flair.
Some churches wear their history like a shroud — with the past draped heavily over the face of the present. The past is silencing, secretive, and corpse-like.
The cape-wearing churches tell stories with many actors, who have many foibles.
The shroud-wearing churches tell stories where one person is to blame.
The cape-wearing churches tell stories that happen all over the place — the sanctuary, but also the retreat setting, the party at so and so’s house, the time we went to Capitol Hill, the homeless shelter, stories told with gusto.
The shroud-wearing churches tell stories that happen in the room where Session meets, or in the parking lot afterward, stories told in whispers.
The cape-wearing churches sometimes organize events by email, or Facebook, and plans can change at the last moment.
The shroud-wearing churches stick to their administrative manual, which is thick.
The cape-wearing churches are a pain to keep clean, what with the play-doh and streamers.
The shroud-wearing churches are clean, if you don’t mind the slight smell of stagnation.