Saturday, January 01, 2011


There is a dread code word that church people, particularly Professional Church People, use for those who are, well, unchurched. For sheer stupidity it ranks with ‘deplane,’ as in ‘in an emergency, you will deplane from the door or window nearest you that is marked as an exit.’ My favourite days are those in which I am a thoroughly ‘deplaned’ person.

The best commentary on the word ‘unchurched’ that I know of came from a grocer in a small town in Iowa, apparently one of the suspect heathen. One day the pastor of the Lutheran church approached him about providing food for a district meeting of church evangelisation committees. These are the people, the pastor explained, who have a special ministry – here he paused, significantly – a special outreach to the ‘unchurched.’ The grocer took the order for cold cuts, sliced cheeses, rolls, cookies, and fruit. When the pastor unveiled the large deli platter in the church basement, he was startled to find that the centrepiece was a cross constructed out of slices of bologna.

From Amazing Grace: a vocabulary of faith, by Kathleen Norris, pg 325

1 comment:

Benjamin Eakin said...

Read this book a couple of years ago. It helped tremendously in helping to redeem some "church" terms from my childhood. It's well worth the time.