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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

People

It’s about the people!

I can’t help but think of the man in the coffee shop, nervous about going to a funeral. At sixty years of age he had no experience with funerals, and certainly none with death and dying. He asked about funerals, but clearly needed to talk about other, deeper questions. I imagine the woman at McDonald’s who wanted an opinion about saying the Lord’s Prayer in school. Feeling it was somehow important to her, because she’d said it as a child, but with no church connection now to test her child mind’s opinions against. She’s lost a way to talk about a subject that she really, really does want to talk about.

We’re not so far from 9/11 with its ensuing emotional turmoil about Islam. Our fears of the “other” moving into our neighbourhoods grow unchecked without diversity education. We struggle with current questions about same sex marriage, or gun control or questions of young offenders and criminal punishment. People don’t know how to talk about their concepts of ethics and morality.

Every day things happen in communities that raise impossible questions for ordinary people. Accidents claim carfuls of teenagers. Children contract terrible illnesses. Whole communities are thrown out of work by an economic decision made in some distant country. Where is their good news?

What do these have to do with Goal #2? These people need a community. Some of them need a Community of Christ. It’s not because we need to ensure the survival of our particular institutional faith community. It’s that there are people living right here in my neighbourhood who need to have a way to think about life’s hard questions. People need to know God’s grace and presence in the world. They need a place and a way and a community to struggle with what that can mean to them in the things that impact on their own life every single day. They need to feel God’s love; and it needs to come in human form for them.
Maybe we can reach out from our current congregation. I know some of you who do that. But maybe my congregation is too set in its ways. Most of us feel just too comfortable or too tired or unwilling to embrace persons with unfamiliar “lifestyles.” It takes something new!

These are the circumstances that come to MY mind when I consider CEM’s Goal #2: Plant five congregations in the next ten years. What about you? What do YOU think of?

Posted by Marion

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