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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, October 4, 2010

Appropriate

I’ve been doing some follow up thinking stimulated by last week’s thoughts on Rules.

I’m quoting here: “I realize there is not a rule, at least not a hard and fast rule, and I get that there isn’t even an official guideline, but do you think it’s really appropriate?”

Oh my! How do you answer that one?

Is it possible for something to be appropriate one place and not another? And by that I don’t mean something that’s appropriate on the playground may not be appropriate in a theatre. I mean, is it possible that something is appropriate in my congregation that isn’t in yours?

Don Robb recently shared that he’s now lived in this area long enough to know where he needs to wear a suit and tie to church and where he’s better to be more casual with his Sunday wardrobe. I can now name four congregations where it’s deemed appropriate to bring your little dog into the sanctuary during worship. (As long as it really is little and no one knows it’s there who doesn’t know it’s there.) But by the same token, I’ve recently learned of another congregation where the deacon in charge has ruled that a dog in church is not appropriate!

We do have our local cultures rife with long-standing traditions. It may be traditional to let the pastor make those pesky decisions about what is or isn’t appropriate. But then, it may also be traditional to be annoyed when those rulings turn out to oppose what we, ourselves, think is appropriate. Based upon…I don’t know what!

How do we get clarity on this?

I fall back on my original ruling: talk among yourselves; decide how you’ll decide and stay friends. I think that’s still the most appropriate ruling I can give for most of the questions of propriety being tossed around in many communities I visit.

And if that doesn’t work for you, you can always ask yourself: is this what matters most?

Posted by Marion

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