The Postcard Project
The Postcard Project as the first postcard suggests, holds serious hope. This was the hope that whether or not your community or congregation is "connected" to the internet you would have a sense of the deeper connection we can nourish and draw on. I could imagine you as small communities receiving something that was just for you. I hoped you would welcome these cards, show them around the congregation, find ways to talk about the questions on the back of each card.
I am always hoping that small congregations, rural congregations will not settle for a faith community life that is based on something society often tells us; that the success of rural congregations is measured by how close we can come to look like urban. Urban can be exciting, enlivening. But so can rural. I really believe that rural congregations have much to offer to the wider church.
So, the Postcard Project as just one way to stir us up a bit, to make us smile, to encourage us to ponder God in our midst, to spark our imaginations. One of the other things I believe about rural is that we sometimes buy into the cultural script. We become captive to what society tells us is best. Often that's something more tailored to an urban setting. So we lose hope, we try to push down our fear, we close off from our neighbours, forget our stories, fail to lament, and so don't get to joy.
But, it's up to us if we want to stay in that place of captivity. Like the Egyptians held captive in Egypt we have to want our freedom. We have to no longer be content with merely filling the pulpit each Sunday. We need to pay attention to what God is whispering to us each day. We need to become participants not only in the committees of our church but in the variety of its daily life with God.
We need to respond.
Now, God is the one we're responding to, not me but, If there is a response from you to these postcards, I'll develop a resource that you can use with these cards for Christian Education or Faith Formation conversations in your faith community. You just need to drop me a line in the comments or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also message me though the Rural Routes Through the Holy Facebook page.
While you're here you might want to follow the story of 'Rural United' and Dave, Della, Rose and Walter as they receive their postcards and decide what to do with them. You can continue to follow the unfolding story here.
So, things began to get interesting when Dave and Della went to pick up the mail. Usually, Walter gets the mail for Rural United but Walter has just had hip surgery. So, Dave and Della are helping out. They're wondering about this bright orange card. Who did it come from? What will Dave and Della do now?
So, the latest is, Della and Dave headed over to the church to drop off the mail, including the mysterious orange postcard. When they got there they found quite a pile of stuff; even some leftover palms from Palm Sunday! Poor Walter's hip must have really been kicking up. Nothing is sorted.
Dave finds another card that says Rural neighbours and Della and Dave's friend Rose pulls out Rural Fear. It looks like there's a green one on the bottom. Dave wonders where these are coming from; it looks like someone is trying to send a message that may be just for them.
Hmm, I wonder, do you have a pile like this at your church? Do you know where your green postcard is today? I think Dave and Della would be glad to know.
Dave and Della and Rose have pulled four postcards out of the big pile of papers. They have a feeling they should do something with them but what? It's a decision that calls for chocolate! Fortunately Della always buys lots at Easter even though her kids are now in their 30's.
What will they come up with? What will Walter think when he gets back from his hip surgery? They better save some chocolate!