I continue to reflect on the tragedy of the newborn baby's death and the event of the community coming together at the church to mourn and to look for hope. Today being Sunday (traditional "church day," although one hopes that all days are religious days to the faithful) and today being the day of the memorial service, I have been thinking about the role of the church in the world.

It is not often you will find me quoting someone who spends a lot of time reading Barth and Neibuhr, but while reading something else, I came across the work of Tim Gorringe, Professor of Theology at the University of Exeter on the church and culture. Professor Gorringe says that given that the Christian (and particularly Anglican) doctrine of the incarnation (meaning, God became human in Jesus the Christ) is central to our faith, then God can and does work through the culture in which the church is currently set. The world is flesh; God became flesh. All culture has its dark side (I don't need to provide an example for you here - I'm sure you can think of your own), and yet God is able to work through culture, which ultimately will be transformed ("behold, I will make all things new"). The place of the church in this scheme is to make God's goodness and friendship to humanity visible to itself and to the world.

The transformation toward which we look is the transformation of this broken world through the transformation of our communities. Today the community of the church opened its arms to include those some folks would consider outside the community. To include some who were not even there, to include the baby's mother. This is the transformation of community - not that we within the community will become "better Christians" or "more spiritual people" but that the whole notion of community itself will become transformed to include and shelter everyone just as God's embrace includes and shelters everyone.