It was well over a year ago that we began to play with a tagline “Feels like Family” for our parish. Of course, I see the advantages of this phrase. It takes one away from a view of Church as an “institution” or a “social club” and this is important. There is a sharing dimension to family.
I also see the challenges in this depiction. Families are that into which we are born (usually) but in our contemporary cultures, more people end up choosing the church family where they worship – and they may change that choice more than once in their lives.
Family should be a place of safety as well as nourishment. It is also a place where one’s faults are always well known but one receives forgiveness when it is sought. Family is a place for conversation (which often brings disagreement) and emotions (which can at times overrule clear thinking).
Church as a “family” is a good notion. Having Christ as the Head of this family and knowing He nurtures us lets that notion make sense even as it challenges us.