SGC's 95 Theses for the 21st Century

Everyone's ideas were up on the walls. Last Sunday, we marked the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation by following Martin Luther's lead. Everyone was given a chance to write out ways they think our church or the wider church should reform in order to become a more loving community. Then we stuck it on the walls. And the doors. And the windows. And the Communion table. The church was covered. It was awesome.
The most common themes amongst the notes:
Be more accepting, less judgmental.
Reach out to the community beyond the walls of our church, especially to those in need.
Continue investing in our children and youth.
Beyond the content of Martin Luther's publicly posted 95 theses, the spirit of open and loving dialogue about differences of opinion is crucial for us to revive in our modern age.
So I decided I would include below an un-censored list of every note I found remaining after worship, whether I agreed with them or not (Spoiler Alert: I agree with basically all of them anyway). The only ones I left off were the ones that were repeated more than 4 times.
This is our Spring Glen Church's 95 Theses (okay, maybe 55 Theses, but close). Take a moment to read them through and pray for the future of both our local church and our wider church, that we might become a more vivid image of God's heaven here on earth. And once you're done praying, pick out which of these points you feel most strongly about and make it happen. (Spoiler alert: you are the church, you have the power to make these things happen! And if you don't know how to make it happen, send me a note and I'll point you in the right direction.)
Good talk. Go Team.
Pastor Jack
SPRING GLEN CHURCH's 95 (55ish) Theses
Recognize grief or loss among members and reach out.
Love is more than a handshake -- it's action.
Accept God's love for all, and live that way -- loving to all.
Acceptance of others.
Consider changing the seating arrangement from pews to circles.
Integrate -- overcoming differences (racial, economic, geographic)
Live the Word in our deeds daily and with Love.
Patience and understanding to sympathize with others' points of view.
To stay aware of creeping political struggle for power among leaders & congregants.
Churches should never judge another human for their life choices but accept them.
More fun music.
Reach out to those in need.
Feed & Shelter those in need.
Meet with people from other churches as we are starting to do.
All churches should be Open & Affirming like SGC.
Reach out to people who may have wandered away.
The church must become part of the wider community, not isolated from it.
Church needs to do more outreach & out-of-the-box stuff to be more vital.
Stop judging others. Focus on helping and understanding.
Box at entrance of the Sanctuary for donation of food.
Offer acceptance first, not preconditioned on fitting into any social norm.
Be more active with teenage youth.
More diversity means greater acceptance.
Less emphasis on dressing up & formal worship spaces; more communal participation & sharing & facing each other in worship.
Being uncomfortable isn't the same as being unsafe.
Continue to become more diverse!
Recognizing that there is one God, but many truths.
More focus on self-love/care, offering personal practices for mental health like dreamwork.
More conversations with each other about our faith.
Children's Choir
Invite Life Haven clients to church.
Speak more loudly against discrimination.
More small groups to minister to each other.
Nurture the truth that wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in Christ's name, that is church.
All denominations should ordain women and gay people and married folks.
Stop using excerpts of the Bible to exclude millions of people.
Pray about ideas and people with whom you disagree.
Develop participation in Youth Groups.
Encourage more churches to become Open & Affirming.
Reconciliation between Protestants & Catholics.
Provide tools & encouragement for individual commitment to grow in faith, love, and discipleship.
In the name of community, build higher profile as a loving witness to tolerance.
Listen to other believer, nonbelievers, and other religious groups.
Homes! Families Need Homes!
Trying to push positive political change.
Stop devoting 730% of service to 19th Century European music. Music should represent different voices, theologies, and musical styles!
All churches should follow Jesus's essential commandments: Love God, neighbor, and self.
Active mission trip opportunities, formation, & development.
Set eco-justice & creation care as central.
Service to others without strings.
Unite into one only denomination.
Help the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized.
Devote to the reading & understanding of scripture by setting time aside to gather and discuss the Bible.
Less shouting.
Open doors who need shelter.