Minister’s Musings – Prairie & “Church” 9/28/22

Minister’s Musings

On my Sunday out of the pulpit last week, I attended worship at Prairie Society and stayed for their open house and fall festival.  I’ve never been there on a Sunday before, and it was lovely!  The service was a sweet celebration of the community and their building, and both the worship and the religious education rooms were bursting with people and energy.  The building improvements are gorgeous, and the space was filled with the beautiful satisfaction and pride of people deeply who have finished a long and hard task.  I’m grateful for my colleague, the Rev. Matt Aspin’s invitation to celebrate with them, and to the Reebers who came by for some of the festivities after our service.  And I look forward to collaborations to come!

In faith and love,


Here’s this week’s question and response:

I often refer to Reeb as my “church,” but noticed a lot of people avoid this word.  What word do you recommend we use when we refer to this community and/or building?

Here’s what I know: when JRUUC was first incorporated, the C stood for Church.  It was changed to Congregation a few years later (I think), for two reasons.  First, to be more inclusive, as “congregation” was considered a broader term for a faith community than “church” was.  And second, “congregation” was thought to refer to the people more than to the institution, which was and still is an important distinction for this very relational and community-minded group of people.  I asked this same question during the search process (20 years later), and I was told that Reebers use the term “congregation” to refer to their community, and say “building” or “Reeb building” to refer to the building.