The recent Pew Foundation research has again brought forth the not-so-new news about the organization that I have stepped in to pledge my life commitment: the decline of Christianity at a massive scale, especially among the young generation. And it is not surprising to me at all, because I have been witnessing it for myself for at least a decade among my peers and am now experiencing it more acutely than ever as a pastor who hangs out with twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings most of the time. Who cares about going to church anymore anyway, except for those who have nothing better to do on Sundays?
I grew up in church and spent enormous amount time going to church, serving the church, studying the Bible and going to various meetings and worship services every week of my entire life. I am now a pastor in the United Methodist Church, the second biggest Protestant denomination in the United States. But none of those elements matter too much anymore – perhaps they shouldn’t have mattered at any time. As I spend more time with the friends I meet at Tutti, something other than the name, size or doctrines of Christian church started to emerge as far more important in my heart: it is the increasing necessity of a loving community, a body that can share and express the very nakedness of our human nature.
And that is because, regardless of the popularity of Christianity or status of organized religion in our society, the unchanging fact of human life is that we have a deep thirst for spiritual world and our origin, the meaning of our existence, and the value of our beings. And for that reason having open, diverse, creative spaces to explore this basic desire of our humanness is indispensable part of our growth, both as an individual and as a society. This is what Tutti Sunday worship is about: to be an open space for people of all backgrounds, cultures, thoughts, experiences and faiths can come together and explore the infinite possibilities of our spiritual world, and to share our human and spiritual experiences, both good and bad, the mysteries, our questions, and the mercy and love of being one body in one spirit.
So this is why I invite every one of you to Tutti Sunday worship with confidence that this indeed is the best thing to do on a Sunday. With Tutti, let us courageously depart from our own preconceptions about the existing church or Christianity – both those who identify themselves with Christianity those who do not. Let us pause talking and debating about religions, their irrationality, injustice or whatever we might have to say about them. Let us simply come together and experience. Listen, sing, share, and feel. Give your ears and heart to the moment’s inspiration. And get to know those who know you better than you know yourself and love you more than you love yourself. Come and see.