“Songs of Time and Space” by the Time and Space Mission Group

Fish and anchor inscription from catacomb of St Priscilla (Rome)
Fish and anchor inscription
from catacomb of St Priscilla (Rome)

January 12, 2020

The First Sunday after the Epiphany

We believe that the Holy One continues to speak to us, and that sharing what we have heard with one another enriches our common understanding of the divine voice. In this season between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, Celebration Circle has invited several of the Seekers mission groups to share their sense of call and ministry. Last week, we heard from Kolya on behalf of the new Earth and Spirit mission group. Today, the Time and Space mission group has offered to preach.

Time and Space grew out of Seekers’ decision to buy and renovate this building. The conversation about moving from the Church of the Saviour headquarters near Dupont Circle—commonly referred to “2025” from its address on Massachusetts Avenue—to a building of our own started around 1996 with Gordon’s insistence that all of the CofS communities should separately incorporate. After several years of searching, we bought this run-down, unloved building, hired an architect, and our friends at Manna’s for-profit affiliate, Providence Construction, agreed to serve as general contractor. Over the next two years, Peter, Keith, Glen, and I met with the project supervisor every Friday morning at 7am to help keep the long, complicated renovation process on track. Finally, on June 20, 2004, the whole congregation gathered to bless our new home here at 276 Carroll Street NW.

Within a relatively short time after this auspicious beginning, Stewards realized that our collective vision for making this building a resource for the entire community—not just a place for us to gather for worship on Sunday mornings—would take a certain amount of intentionality. So the four of us who had been through it all, plus John, became the charter members of what was to become the Time and Space Mission Group and began to figure out the rules around who could use our building and for what kind of purposes. Soon, Katie was hired to keep track of who was using what room when and to be the connection between outside users and Seekers as a whole, and she became part of the mission group, too. [Carroll Street song]

Carroll Street
to the tune of Camelot

It’s true, it’s true, the Stewards have made it clear
Seekers shall be full of life all year

A call was sounded in the early aughts here
To fill the building would be very meet
And so a tiny mission group was formed here
On Carroll Street

We’ve got zendos, and satsangs, and minyans
Nonprofits and twelve steps at discounts deep
We welcome every spiritual opinion
On Carroll Street

Carrol Street, Carroll Street
I know it sounds a bit bizarre
But on Carroll Street, Carroll Street
It’s where the people are

Christian congregations share the space here
With yoga, NSL, and TFC
In short there couldn’t be a better place to meet
For all Takoma Park and more than here on Carroll Street

Carrol Street, Carroll Street
I know it gives a person pause
But on Carroll Street, Carroll Street
This building is our cause

There are weddings, celebrations, and art shows
Folksong and InterPlay and fiddlers sweet
This is the very place to rent some sacred space
For every kind of gathering
here on Carroll Street

Over time, Keith and John left T&S to join other mission groups, others joined us and then moved on, and Denise became part of our regular gatherings.

In the early days of Time and Space, we spent a long, long time writing a set of policies about how the building could be used, setting out how much money we hoped people would contribute to its upkeep in exchange for using it, and a lot of other stuff. Our beautifully renovated building started aging, and members of the mission group began to take on tasks according to their skills and interests. [Peter’s on the Roof Again song]

Peter’s on the Roof Again
to the tune of If I Were a Rich Man

Peter’s on the roof again
Daidle deedle daidle daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb
All day long he’s looking for the leaks
Looking just as hard as he can

Peter’s on the roof again
Daidle deedle daidle daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb
Will he find the itty bitty breach
Daidle deedle daidle daidle dumb

We built a big tall church with rooms by the dozen
Right in the middle of the town,
A fine flat roof with real wooden floors below.
There is a monumental staircase just going up
And another leading to the third floor,
But to get out you must go through the window, so . . .

Peter’s on the roof again
Daidle deedle daidle daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb
All day long he’s down on his knees
Looking for another leak

We fill the church with worship and parties and meals
And music and poetry and love
We do not want to fill it with water
Drip drip dripping from above, so . . .

Peter’s on the roof again,
Daidle deedle daidle daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb
All day long he’s looking at the flashing
Looking just as hard as he can

But he doesn’t have to look far
Daidle deedle deedle . . .
Our fine flat roof is getting rather old
With many many tiny gaps …………………oy!

Now, we meet every other Thursday from 7 to 9 to pray together, share how our lives are going, consider what new policies might be needed, and talk about how best to keep things in good repair:  who will clear the parking lot and driveway when it snows? Who will mow the lawn and plant things in the garden? Who will paint the walls and clean the floors and pick up the trash and to fix whatever broke? Sometimes one or more of us just gets it done. Sometimes, we ask Dave and Martha’s Mob to take care of it. And increasingly, as both we and the building are all getting older, we hire contractors to do what no one else can or is willing to do. .[Our Time and Space Things song]

Our Time & Space Things
to the tune of My Favorite Things

Drips from the ceiling and mice in the kitchen
Someone’s forgotten her code and can’t get in
One of the renters has lost a gold ring
These are a few of our Time & Space things

Who had a party and left the place dirty
Where is the roofer, he was due by eight thirty
A toilet is running, what anguish that brings
These are a few of our Time & Space things

When the phone rings
When the alarm sounds
When we’re going mad
We simply remember our Time & Space call
And then we don’t feel so bad

The back door’s not locking, the front door won’t open
Someone backed into the fence, now it’s broken
Sparrows are building a nest in the swings
These are a few of our Time & Space things

We reset the router but the wifi’s still iffy
Quick call the painter, the place must be spiffy
Lights in the parking lot out since the spring (of 2018)
These are a few of our Time & Space things

When a pipe bursts
When the heat stops
When we’re going mad
We simply remember our Time & Space call
And then we don’t feel so bad

And here is our Call:

The Call of the Time and Space Mission Group

The Time and Space Mission Group is called to fill Seekers Church building with bountiful life, and invite the gracious use of time and space.

We are called to love our building in the service of ministries and missions of Seekers Church and other groups.

We are called to be a bridge between Seekers and other users of our building, fostering communication with them and with the wider community.

We are called to welcome other groups and individuals and invite them to explore a deeper relationship with Seekers Church.

We believe that God is calling each person to be engaged in service to others in a particular way, and that the community can help individuals respond to that call through prayerful discernment and compassionate support. To carry out our call, the Mission Group will:

  • Encourage use of our space by Seekers for our current and emerging missions and ministries;
  • Facilitate use of our space by others, especially those whose calls and visions are in harmony with our own, sharing Seekers’ life with them and encouraging relationships between them and members of Seekers Church; and
  • Care for our building, practicing good maintenance while keeping our focus on missions and ministry.
  • To deal with time and space, the Mission Group may hire, supervise and support a coordinator, contractors, and others, following the guidance of Stewards.

We commit to continually discern God’s leading for the use and care of our building. Members of the Mission Group commit to regular meetings, mutual support, spiritual practices, and accountability.

It is a lot for just five people, and we could use a few more hands. If any of you feel called to join us, please let us know.

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