Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Disturbance

In some ways doing church in the black African way is very different to the English-speaking churches.
In the church where I was leading on Sunday there is a birds' nest. There is a broken window, which has been there ever since I landed in Grahamstown and this pair of red-winged starlings has made itself at home. I think the congregation is used to having the birds swooping over them during services and meetings. This Sunday a little sparrow creature got in. It hopped up onto the pulpit to say hello to me and then fluttered off to the roof beams. Eventually the starlings spotted it and then there was war. They chased the poor thing all around the church until it crashed into the ornamental hangings behind the pulpit and hopped off under a table in temporary safety.
I can't really understand the lack of interest in church that means this sort of thing happens. Does no one care to fix the window? Whose fault is this? The congregation's? The ministers', who have come and gone over the years? God's? This is one of many symptoms of a church society that doesn't have any real roots.
Apparently one of the church stewards (like an elder) was there at the beginning of the service, but decided to go home. No one is quite sure why.

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