DANCING ON THE HEAD OF A PIN, EL CAJON —
"Jesus didn't die on the cross to establish a Sunday service," says Miles McPherson, lead pastor of The Rock megachurch. "He established a Body that would go out and represent the Gospel to the world. We have 150 ministries led by volunteers in the community. That's the Church. Church is not what I do on Sundays. What I do on Sundays" — personally for his Point Loma congregation and remotely for congregations all over the county — "is just what Paul asked Timothy to do: "Preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. That's it. And when I do it, I don't tickle folks' ears, but I do try to keep them engaged, you know? It's educational, but it's also entertaining, and it's what I want to bring to ECPAC."
ECPAC is the East County Center for the Performing Arts in El Cajon, which closed in 2010 for want of funds. The Rock Church wants to take up residence in ECPAC for couple of days a week, and the money they're offering would allow the Center to re-open its doors for other performances during unchurchy days.
But because the Center is owned by the City, some citizens are saying that the arrangement would violate the separation of church and state guaranteed by the First Amendment.
McPherson is frankly mystified.
"These people keep stressing the idea that the East County Performing Arts Center is just that — a Performing Arts Center. The weird thing is, they think that's a reason why we shouldn't be allowed inside. I have to assume they've never seen me at work. Baby, I am performing up there. And it's not just me. Our worship team is tight: from music to sound to lighting. We're working with the Greatest Story Ever Told, so we think it deserves The Greatest Show on Earth. Don't believe me? Come and see."