The podcast entitled Sex, Death and Money inspired the sermon series we will begin on November 1st. Why are we going to talk about these particular topics? Because they are tough to talk about and often get overlooked or avoided, especially in church. Couple that with the knowledge that God has something to say to us about these real life topics and we have a sermon series. The church capital C has never been great at talking about the body and the material world. We at the Greenpoint Church are committed to having the conversation about the nitty gritty of life. Where better to start than with sex, death and money?
The cover of yesterday’s New York Times had an article all about the death of a man who died alone in his apartment in Queens and what happened after his death. No one was aware of his wishes for his body or his estate and the article went through the process the city followed to try and find out about his wishes. Sometimes death can be so uncomfortable to talk about that we avoid it to our detriment. How do we talk about our wishes around death and dying with those we love? The way we think about death and dying is connected to our belief about the meaning of death and the after life. Not always easy things to talk about.
Church has not always been a place where discussions of gender and sex are welcome, but here they seem unavoidable. Children are curious, and they ask the obvious questions. How did that baby get in her belly? Is she a boy or a girl? Why are some boys with girls and some married to boys? Arrrgh. Forming articulate, age appropriate answers seems daunting. It almost makes an adult long for the time when we just put children off and told them they would learn about sex after marriage, and yet that answer doesn’t work for us.
Each week is worship one of the Pastors introduces the offering time by talking about where the church’s money was spent that week and how it facilitated ministry. This style of introduction is a conscious attempt by our leadership to change our church’s culture around money. The negative default in many churches is not to talk about money and just hope everything works out.
These tough conversations are happening already, but the hope is that this sermon series will help make them more conscious. Perhaps by talking about them we will all become a little more comfortable having these conversations, and we will come to see them as issues of faith.