spring cleaning

yesterday was the first day of spring. spring is the time when nature renews itself: flowers start to bloom, trees and grass become green again, the days become longer. it can be very exciting (and considering last weekend's rainfall, unpredictable too!). for some of us, spring is also the traditional time to clean up the house, washing the windows, dusting, rearranging furniture, whatever those chores are that we just couldn't get done over the winter months.

we've been doing some spring cleaning around church. always a very dangerous and delicate thing, we have moved furniture, threw stuff away we didn't need, claimed unused or underused space for other ministries. as a pastor, i've gotten into some pretty hot water over moving things around without consulting the "right people." hey, my philosophy for ministry has always been, "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission." no place on earth is that statement more true than the church!

last week evelyn, sarah, and i cleaned out the church entryway. this is the first contact we get with people, and it ought to leave a good impression-- clean and airy, not cramped and confused. this being the wonderful church it is, no one (at least so far) has voiced discontent. hey, easter is the time for miracles, right? today barbara, polly, and i have been rearranging, cleaning out drawers and cabinets, and moving future garage sale stuff out of sight. my back is already getting sore!

reflecting on these experiences i wonder: do we do spring cleaning in the church enough? i am not just talking about physical junk: how often do we clean out the church's outdated practices? how often do we revision what God is calling us to do? like someone's cabinet they left at church because they didn't need it anymore, sometimes our churches hold on to stuff that just doesn't have any purpose anymore. why is it so hard to let that stuff go?

God has given me an amazing vision for trinity church, and i invite you back here next wednesday to "read all about it." following through on it is going to require lots of throwing things away, rethinking how to do church, and refocusing everything our community of faith is about. and yeah, like my back we may be left a little sore, but when we look upon the good works we have done for Christ, i know it will all be worth it.