Here is one for you to contemplate, I have meditated this through prayer rather extensively.
There is an abandoned church building up the street from me, literally just a few blocks away. I feel called to get it’s doors open, yet here is the dilema. I’m Catholic through and through, yet I am open to fellowship with others that are basing their beliefs upon the gospel regardless of denomination, as long as they are not contradicting the Catholic church, for it is the one true church. I want that to be a place of fellowship for all, with no formal ministry, my roll is simply to help keep the doors open and help out whereever needed. I want it to be a gathering place for all believers, and to join together in a very informal setting, similar to a youth center of sorts, but this one being a spiritual center for those that desire fellowship in an informal manner. It may turn out to be a glorified day care center, it may just be a positive place to hang out at, especially for the youth that have nowhere else to go, it may be a place for us Christian musicians to perform at, it may be many things, but I’m pretty much winging it at this point, not forsaking mass in the process, nor my faith in the Catholic church.
I would also like it to be a place where those in need can find help, especially if their own churches failed them on that account, you know, feeding the homeless, counseling, helping with financial aid to those that desperately need it, in general, taking care of people that need it on any level I can. I refuse to let it become a denomination, nor do I desire it to become a Catholic church, or any formal church for that matter, yet I want it to still be a gateway for those that desire fellowship, and I suspect, many that have fallen away form traditional church services and perhaps, to expose people to the Catholic faith and to dispell the myths they are being told from their protestant denominations without forcing them to comply with the Catholic faith abrubtly.
I have my plans and ideas, and I’m not seeing them out of line, here, at the same time, these are just ideas, ultimately it’s the guidance I receive from God and his church to be the final authority on this matter, so I leave these elements in his hands, hopeing he helps to shape this “institution?”.
I’ve been contemplating this for months now, and I see this lonely abandonded, fenced off little white church with no signs, not even a street address number on it, just a plain little white church with a big cross out front, like a blank slate, and it’s all fenced off just sitting there doing nothing in the middle of this not so safe neighborhood.
Would this be classified as starting a new church? I absolutely do not want to be taken as one to be doing this as branching out and away from the Catholic church at all, don’t get me wrong there, yet I feel it could do so much good for this local community, and perhaps inspire others to follow suite should they too find abandoned churches and want to put them to good use. I’d also like to keep it’s doors open 24/7 so nobody has an excuse that it doesn’t fit into their schedule, and even if it’s just to hang out and discuss the bible, that’s good enough.
What are your thoughts about this?