Hello, my name is Church. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about me. I have no shortage of critics. Perhaps you have heard that I am boring, shallow, cheap and a waste of time. Perhaps you’ve heard that I am full of hypocrites, clowns, greedy people and the self righteous. Maybe you have visited me before and discovered horrible music, passionless singing, dry preaching and rude congregants. Maybe right when you needed me I was too busy, too ‘righteous’, too broke or too blind. Maybe you joined me, and found I was distant, demanding, dull and preoccupied. Maybe you tried to serve in me but were caught off guard by business meetings, committees, teams, debates and bureaucracy. Maybe you left, and you were surprised that nobody called, cared, noticed or invited you back. Perhaps your experience has driven you to speak negatively or me, swear to never come back to me, proclaim that no one needs me or believe you’re better off without me. If this is true, if your heart resonates with this, I have something to say to you: I’m sorry. I made a huge mistake and I was wrong. Please remember, my name is church; it isn’t perfection, it isn’t flawlessness, it isn’t completion. My name is church, and I welcome the hypocrite, the dry, the self-righteous and the shallow. I welcome the sincere, the passionate, the forgiving and the selfless. I cannot shut my doors to the people who in the past have made you angry, uncomfortable, impatient or self-conscious. But I can apologise for the fact that you may have been burned by me, and hope that someday, maybe, you’ll forgive me and come back.