Friday, January 15, 2016

Here's a name for mainline churches that want to do outreach

With a hat tip to the "Church Sign Maker" at, here's my suggested name for the new congregation being formed by the merger, or "blending," of the three smaller ELCA congregations in Springfield:

It's tongue-in-cheek, of course. But churches are in the business of herding cats these days, at least in the western democracies of Europe and North America, so why not?

Besides, I got the idea from an accomplished herder of cats, former night church pastor Mikkel Vale of Helligaandskirken (Church of the Holy Spirit) in Copenhagen. His Night Church was a Friday night service designed to mix and match musical genres ranging from Gregorian chant and early Reformation chorales to Taize, jazz and art music in order to attract the majority of Danes who no longer go to church.

"While the Sunday service puts the emphasis on the forgiveness of sins, we try at Night Church to preach God’s presence at the center of each human life," he told the diocesan magazine Kirken i København (the church in Copenhagen). "This is partly done by an emphasis on personal prayer in worship. It is important for us Christians to learn that God is alive and present. … God goes with us. Always. I hope we can help to convey that to people, so they too can feel it when they leave the church again."

In another Kirken i København article, in 2011, Vale said, "we postmodern people are both misguided sheep and independent cats" and suggested a new role for the church: "We shall be shepherds to cats."

I quoted the articles July 31, 2012, in a post headed "Natkirken reaches out to unchurched 'seekers' in Copenhagen: 'We shall be shepherds to cats'." Permalink

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