Wondering Questions

WONDERING…Real questions from real people to learn more about faith! Questions are asked by people of all ages, children through adult. Read Pastor Trudy’s thoughtful answers.

What did we learn from the Sanctuary update survey? (Part two)

Last week we had part one of things we learned on the worship survey.  It’s not surprising that not everyone agreed about what works and what doesn’t but some interesting questions also arose.  Like…Why do our preachers not often preach from the pulpit and the companion question, why don’t our preachers preach on the floor level?  Back before there was the ability to amplify voices in church, there were pulpits…set up to help people to see and hear the preacher.  In some spaces, like ours, it also emphasized that the pastors are ‘set apart’ for their work.  The distance was a design choice following church trends at the time it was designed/built.  I preach from the pulpit for funerals because I am stepping in to the strength of the call and the witness of all of the saints.   But I find the pulpit a little confining for my style for weekend worship.   When I started at GLC I did preach from the floor.  It took a little while, but eventually some folks told me that I wasn’t as tall as I may think and I was difficult to see.  Since then, I’ve been preaching from the top step, especially when the sanctuary is more crowded.—Pastor Trudy

What did we learn from the Sanctuary update survey? (Part two) Read More »

What did we learn from the Sanctuary update survey? Pt. 1

On the worship survey we learned that our space is warm and inviting.  And we learned that it is cold and not inviting.  We learned that it is just right and shouldn’t be changed and that it is not perfect and should be changed.  Prayers for wisdom for the architects working on the plan!   But there were also good questions like, why are the worship leaders so far away and tucked behind the pulpit and lectern?  The architect who designed GLC built in chairs up front for the leaders.  At that time and for him, it was important to set the clergy/leaders apart.  There is even a little room on the north side that was the pastor’s place to get robed so he (yes it was always a he then) would be in the front as people arrived. This is not really my style so before we started livestreaming, I would sit in the front pew.  This made me feel so much more a part of worship.  When we started to livestream I found myself trapped by camera angles, unable to move freely without walking in front of a shot.  Logistically, it is easier just to stay put up front during 10:30 worship, though I do venture out on Saturday evening!  Knowing that you notice small things and that they matter to you is really encouraging to our team as we plan and lead worship and as we ponder what big or small changes we can make to our space to make it more accessible and meaningful. —Pastor Trudy

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What is the best way to respond when we are hurt?

What is the best way to respond when we are hurt?  Let’s think through some of our options: hurt someone back, walk away feeling sad with it unresolved, ‘forgive and forget’, tell others about our pain and gain sympathy, attack the other person, hold back from relationships in the future to avoid the pain. I’m guessing that most of us use some combination of these and they may seem to work to some degree, often in the short term. The pain may then show up in other ways in our lives or we may miss out on deep, meaningful relationships because we are trying not to be hurt.  Honestly?  This all sounds pretty painful.  God’s work of justice, walking humbly and showing loving kindness requires that we do the hard work of learning and growing from each and every painful experience. This requires staying open, letting go, and watching what Jesus does and teaches. We will see that Jesus experienced great pain, hurt and death…and new life followed it. —Pastor Trudy

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How can I control my reaction to mean people? (question from a confirmation student)

Finding healthy ways to express our fear, anger, and sadness is an important step in changing how we react when people hurt our feelings. I think Habakkuk was using prayer as a tool to do that; Habakkuk was a prophet during a time when there were Empires conquering the land around Judah. Habakkuk lifted up his anger, fear, and sadness to God in prayer, and God reminded Habakkuk that God is with him. By the end of his prayer, even though all the problems weren’t solved, Habakkuk was rejoicing in God. We can try to stay calm in the moment by taking deep breaths, or focusing our thoughts on something else like doing a math problem or reciting something we’ve memorized. But, sometimes we don’t have time to control our reaction and we just react! God has grace for us either way. —Vicar Sharai     

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