The other day I was walking down the street in our neighborhood. I looked up at the gorgeous blue sky and saw a bald eagle circling. There in the hustle and bustle of Southeast Portland was a beautiful wild animal. When I was a kid we didn’t see bald eagles very often. I remember Jeff doubting that I had seen bald eagles at the river when we lived in Yakima. Now we live in a place with at least one resident pair, and these eagles are a common reminder that this place we live is not just a city. Sure there is a big construction site right where I saw the eagle. Brand new apartments with new businesses in the bottom are going up, but a few streets away is a wildlife refuge. This is why this neighborhood is the perfect place for our ministry. It’s this amazing metaphor for the mix of tradition and innovation that are part of SFC.
We have a fancy grocery store and coyotes. The school does field trips to local businesses like the commercial bakery and to the ponds at the refuge to study tadpoles. The sea lions in the river share space with dragon boats. At our table we have life long United Methodists and people new to faith. We talk about Wesleyan themes and Nickleback. We bring all the parts of who we are and in all of that, blessed by God, we become something more, something amazing.
I find my life is so rich because of the diversity of things to experience here in the neighborhood. My faith is so much richer from the diversity of people gathered at the table each week. We even sometimes have animals join us.
House cats Noah and Max sometimes make an appearance at SFC gatherings.