January 5, 2016

The Wise Guys are Almost There

Tomorrow the Church celebrates Epiphany, the arrival of the Wise Men in Bethlehem to greet and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

In a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, the wise men have taken the circuitous route. Throughout the twelve days of Christmas, photos of three wise men statues have appeared on the website of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Westerville, Ohio. Along with their trusty camel steed, the wise men have been captured on (digital) film at city hall, a park, a pub, a coffee shop, and a busy intersection. I’m looking forward to seeing where their journey takes them today. 

It’s a fun way to remind folks of the journey of the wise men and the continuing season of Christmas. And this type of project is a perfect venture for social media, where folks can share and like the photos of the wise men.

This initiative is an apt symbol for what this church has been trying to do over the past couple of years. At one time, it was a large Episcopal church with lots of staff and a brand-new, multi-million dollar addition. Then the priest and about three-quarters of the congregation left The Episcopal Church, and the congregation struggled. In the past few years, the diocese sold the church facility, and the congregation began meeting in different locations. Today, it holds worship services and meetings in several locations, including the third floor of a pub, an Episcopal House, and in local parks. They are literally taking the journey of faith into the community, onto its streets and into places where people gather.

I am sure this has not been an easy journey. Loss and grief has been a constant companion for many of the longtime members. But there is also a new spirit, with a focus on being a servant church, one with a focus beyond its doors (because frankly, there are no “red doors”).

The journey for this congregation continues, just as the travels of the wise men carry on after Bethlehem. I look forward to the photos on Facebook – of the new locales for the Wise Men and for the faithful people in Westerville.

Don't miss a blog post! Subscribe via email or RSS, using the grey box on the upper right.