Tuesday, August 11, 2009

166 Hours: A Glimpse Inside unChurch Abbey

The gentle Monks of unChurch Abbey would like to invite you into our world. We like to say "Church can have 2 hours a week, the unChurch is about the other 166." That includes work-time, family-time, bed-time, and party-time.

Let me introduce unMonk Eric and unMonkie P.J. They do not write or speak, instead they sing rock and roll, and they rock babies to sleep in the name of God Almighty. Years ago they bought a house at the intersection of the suburbs and a trailer park. At times they've felt it was a big mistake to buy in this location, since sometimes "people problems" can spill over from the trailer park into their own fenced, green back yard. Until one day that asked "What if...?"

What if God put us here on purpose?

School starts this week. So P.J. says, "It sure is expensive buying school supplies for the kids. Heck, how do poor people DO it?" So she calls some friends and says "Let's party." They asked their more fortunate friends to help out their less fortunate neighbors. They set up lawn chairs, set out food, lit the grill, and sent invitations to the neighbors. Gardeners and nurses and VP's and cooks and programmers and teenagers. Then they set put the donated school supplies out, like "See? We got this extra stuff. Can you use it?"

As in heaven, so on the earth. That's what unChurch is all about. Eric & P.J. are gonna kill me for making a big deal about this, but it was too good an example to waste. The bible says "provoke each other to do good."

So, what if God put you where you're at? On purpose?

[Joe B]


Scott said...

Before I showed up at the shindig, I was wondering, "With all the supplies they got together, are they gonna have way more supplies than needy people? Will people actually come over and accept a bunch of free stuff?"

It's a conundrum. When you live WITHOUT need, as many of us essentially do, we sometimes wonder about the psychology of those who live WITH need. We often have grand ideas, but we often fail to execute them because we think it's not always so easy to get people to ACCEPT help.

Lo and behold, there were plenty of people who came over and got stuff. Even in the rain. And it was a LOT of stuff. Expensive school supplies and hot dogs and sno-cones and friends to play with.

I tip my rain-soaked hat to Eric and PJ for bringing together those with need and those with abundance. It is a good thing.

Craig said...

"What if God put us here on purpose?"

That's asking the right question. I tip my own hat to Eric and PJ. Thanks for the example, and thanks for putting your money where your mouth is. . .

And - "Provoke each other to do good." What a great way to put it!

Deborah said...

I don't have a hat, so I'll just curtsy (please, somebody help me get up).

Eric and PJ make me want to be a better person!

And I totally agree with Craig that "Provoke one another to do good" is a great way to put it!

void77 said...

Wow! Thanks Joe (and others) for the encouragement. That day was a real blessing for Pj and me - there are so many stories to tell. But in the end, I do believe that God was glorified, so to HIM be the glory!

And also, thanks to EVERYONE who came out and to those who couldn't but prayed for us. Much appreciated!


Amy Lynn said...

I am new to this and just getting to know PJ and Eric. They are quickly becoming some of my favorite people to have around. They are such an encouragement. Thank-you Joe for this story.