This summer, *cino has been hosting Family Fun Nights every Thursday from 5-7 pm at the Huss Project in Three Rivers, Michigan. Attendance was a bit sparse the first couple of weeks, but over the past month we’ve managed to attract a fairly consistent group of folks from the neighborhood for crafts, gardening, snacks, and sports. It’s been a great addition to our weekly schedule, and (I’ve found) a time to be re-energized by the Three Rivers community.
While lots of activities take place at these events, kickball is undoubtedly the favorite–for our guests and *cino staff, alike–whether playing or watching. I’m pretty terrible at it, but every week I look forward to running our homemade carpet bases on the crunchy grass behind Huss (especially when my team conquers!). I know, I know…it’s “just a game,” but it’s slowly becoming the place where I remember how to be a kid. I like to think it means something like that for the rest of the *cino folks, too.
Of course, remembrance is a funny thing these days. As many who are reading know, *cino recently made the difficult decision of canceling Practicing Resurrection due to a lack of registered guests. We’ve scratched our heads and asked the obvious questions–did it cost too much? did we advertise enough? are others as excited about this stuff as we are?–only to find ourselves empty and waiting for answers that aren’t coming. Over the past few weeks, silent waves of disappointment and frustration have occasionally reminded us of our story, our attempt and our lack of success. Perhaps the situation isn’t as traumatic as varied vocabulary makes it sound, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t upset about this inevitable choice.
Even so, I’m equal parts reminded of *cino’s mission as an organization attempting to exhibit qualities of the coming Kingdom–ideally, a taste of what is “already, but not yet.” While part of me definitely and concretely laments our situation, the other asks: “how do we respond faithfully in this Christian community?” I don’t have all the answers, but I am hopeful that together we will continue (attempting) to foster an atmosphere of ridiculous joy because of our faith.
Indeed, the Hauerwasian ethic — “the faithfulness of doing nothing” — rings truer than ever in times like these. And while I am well aware that there is an apprehension to accept such “quietist” perspectives, particularly among those of us who desperately desire to make good culture, I still believe there is a place and time for such perspectives and reflection; perhaps, even, a place and time much like this…
¨In the wake of this story of “failure,” we’ve continued our Family Fun Nights (and lots of other events, too). Appropriately, we’ve had a lot of fun at them. We’ve made new friends and walked through misters. We’ve sat in the shade and chatted in the garden. We’ve drank from the hose and completed puzzles with missing pieces. Again, we’ve smiled, and it’s been great.
Thus, weekly we return to kickball liturgy: the joy of a game for it’s own sake, a score that never get’s counted, and a time that asks to be wasted on something as precious as childhood. Together we stand in the sun, watch in the shade, and (sometimes) feel the breeze: a whispered reminder that another story–a story of hope–continues to unfold in our midst, even in the hot heat of this extraordinary summer.