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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, May 5, 2011

History (again)

This has been a history-making week. In the midst an important Canadian federal election (despite early commentary about it), we took time out to witness a royal wedding. We speculated about it.

“Does this signal rebirth of the monarchy?” “Should Canada be a republic?”

Then we turned our attention back to our voting and wondering about its historic implications.

“What’s happening with the Bloc in Quebec?” “Have the Liberals ‘tanked’ forever?”

Then there are the world events. We’ve not heard the end of a whole string of natural disasters, political uprisings, economic turmoil. And our American neighbours struggle with how to react to the death of their arch enemy, Osama Bin Laden.

At the same time we all experience history closer to home. Families reach historic turning points as graduations, weddings, births happen. Congregations are making history left and right. There too, death and resurrection are both themes to be reckoned with.

Historians among us will record the facts and analysts will offer opinions about “what it all means.” While the news channels and the editorial writers will stay up all night offering their various opinions, I tend to agree with Chinese premier Zhou En-Lai when asked about the significance of the French Revolution in 1789: “it’s too soon to tell.”

I am so very pleased that the historian for the GTA West congregation is attending meetings and taking notes about the process that particular group is undertaking to make decisions as to what facility will best meet their needs to fulfill the call and mission they are discerning for their future and future generations. They’ve realized that they are indeed making history.

I’m pleased that the memorial plaque from the closing Brantford church that records and celebrates “the first Latter Day Saint sermon was preached by Joseph Smith on October 20, 1833 at a schoolhouse near here on Market Square…” will be taken to Historian and Archivist Mark Scherer in Independence.

All this to say, I guess, that we need to be aware that we are living in the midst of history every day. But that we can’t know everything it will mean, sometimes for many years or even generations. I know lots of people who have checked out of the political process, never watch news broadcasts, don’t even know who Osama is or was and who feel only despair over a closed church building. Many think history was that boring subject to opt out of at the first opportunity. I do know it takes all kinds of people to make up a community, so I try not to judge them.

But I am grateful for historians past, present and future who will record the facts, protect the artifacts, and eventually help us not only to figure out what it all means but to help us fulfill the wish of those who have quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr who was quoting Unitarian Minister Theodore Parker who spoke of “the long arc of history that bends towards justice.”

Posted by Marion

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