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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?"

Monday, August 30, 2010


I stand at the top of the ski hill and peer over the edge. It seems dreadfully steep! For a moment, fear grips me. Then I think, "I can do this. What’s the worst that can happen? So what if I fall; I’m not going to die!” At last I take a deep breath and ease myself over the edge. It is the stuff of powerful memories, and a rich experience I will not soon forget.

As a non-skier, how I came to be at the top of that hill is a long and amusing story; too long to share here, but I thought of this experience again this morning as I read the following words in the August, 2010 Herald.
Fear holds us captive, hindering our first steps toward living by Christ’s example.
Fear is our greatest foe. Fear of failure to open ourselves to God’s directions. Fear of being too tired from every day life. Fear of being able to keep meeting the needs of the congregation. And fear of the unknown.
- Alisha Bauman, Teamwork Overcomes Fear, Herald Vol.157 No.8, p 31

In this article, the author describes the process by which her Indianapolis congregation overcame fear and began to interact with the neighbourhood surrounding the church. She shares what a blessing that new relationship has been.

Reading of their experience prompted yet another memory. I was the newly assigned President of Southwest International (USA/Mexico) Mission Centre, and visiting one of the five San Diego congregations for the first time. I was early, so I drove around the neighbourhood, observing that this was a residential area, and that the church property was right beside a park where many children and their families came to play ball. And yet there were no welcome signs out to the community. The only church sign was very small and high on the wall of the building, and the access to the parking lot was gated to prevent the families of ball players from filling up all the spaces.

Inside the church building, a meeting was in progress to plan a fellowship event and fund-raiser; a spaghetti supper. A date for this event was suggested and rejected because one of the other congregations was having something that same evening. It was clear that the intent was to invite church members from the other congregations, while right outside the door were thousands of people who would not be invited, or even thought of! Pointing this out was met with a thoughtful silence; the silence of fear. It wasn’t that the neighbours were scary; it was a fear of the unknown, of trying something new, of failing or of being rejected. It was a fear of all the time it would take to invite all those neighbours, and then what if nobody came? Or what if they all came? Fear does, indeed, hold us captive!

What are the fears that keep you from trying something new? And in your congregation, what fears need to be faced and overcome in order to reach out to the community?

We stand at the top of the hill and peer over the edge. It seems dreadfully steep...

Posted by Carman


  1. Thank you for sharing, thoughts are running around in my head and so we will see where that leads me.

  2. Anonymous, I hope you will share those thoughts with the rest of us!

  3. When I find the pesky emotion fear pops up I have 2 options. Avoid it or look it square in the eye.

    Now the first never seems to work even though I have tried it many times. The fear gets distorted and magnified. I even obsess about it.

    Your own personal demons and fears can't really stand being scrutinized. I have found that when you face them they tend to go away or be minimized.

    All of it tends to centre around the ego at best and we know the ego is a wily entity.
    So when I look at a fear head on I often think -- "Ah, there you are Ego. I see you". Ego tends to project a false sense of duality and that contributes to fear. For ultimately there is no "I" only "we". No us and them.

    Should we be afraid of those new people? No.
    New situations with these people? Again, no.

    So it's OK. The demon/fear is an empty vapour. Nothing. And the Ego will ultimately be transformed and let go of through Christ's teachings.

  4. Well said, Tpau! Thank you.

    Fear is frequently the result of motives or intentions we project onto the "other" person; motives or thoughts that they generally do not hold. The ego is, indeed a wily entity.


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