What Is The Church? (Part 1)

by Ptr. Joseph Tiu San Jose

The Church is the people of God. It is not a building or a physical place. It is you and me together, in relationship and covenant with each other.

Not perfect, not pure yet strives to follow Jesus’ life and mission. We recognize the many ways that we have been hurt and how we hurt others. We are on an ongoing process of growth, formation and unmerited grace.

It is the body of Christ on earth, we, being the many parts of it with different gifts, identities, sexualities, languages, backgrounds, perspectives and also different imperfections, woundedness and brokeness but united in the same Christ and same body.

The Church is a home. Not a hospital. In the home we care for each other and for some basic forms of “illnesses” we are able to heal in the home. But for more serious woundedness, we are to seek professional help and not self medicate at home. This is a metaphor. Understand the the symbolism and analogy.

The Church is a Gym facility and not a spa or a derma clinic. The Church does not exist so paying clients may only go to be relieved. Although every church is called to comfort the afficted (refer to home). Nor is the church a place or a community to make you look good and prestine artificially or by some fast, easy and pain free proceedure. It is a gym where you go to be healthy and fit by doing the fitness program. It is for wellness but wellness requires sweat, determination and passion.

The Church is a montessori school and not google. We learn not by simply downloading what content we are curiois about. It is not a school of merit. It is a school of experiential learning. To develop what is best in us, our gifts, by learning with our hands and feet and by learning from peers as well as learning by guiding and teaching others in turn.

The Church is a mission field and not a theater or resto bar. We are not just the Church gathered together, we exist because we have a mission and a calling. We are not just called to come together, we are also sent out to serve.

Our mission is the mission of Jesus Of Nazareth, whom we call the Christ – the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven qualified as a world where there is jusice equity and lasting peace – MCC Statement of faith says, “everybody has enough, wars ceased and all of creation lives in harmony”.

Open Table’s aligned mission to Jesus is the following: To create and maintain a safe space for all; To proclaim the radicaly inclusive love of God through Jesus Christ – first through our lives and then through our words; Participate in God’s wider and larger work of justice in the world. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.

After the secrets of the unbeliever’s heart are disclosed, that person will bow down before God and worship him, declaring, “God is really among you.” What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let them be silent in church and speak to themselves and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to someone else sitting nearby, let the first person be silent.

Open Table MCC is a church for all, including LGBT+ people. All are welcome! Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest news and events from our church community.

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