If you've lost your sense of humor, don't pass up the next mirror!
I like to laugh and hear it's therapeutic; and being a cleric in the mainline, there's so much material.
Here's my favorite story about our fainthearted colleagues.
A PK is sitting with his dad in the church office.
He hears his daddy/pastor say to a pro-lifer, "You're right!"
Then he hears his daddy/pastor say to a pro-choicer (euphemism), "You're right!"
As they're leaving the church, the boy says, "Daddy, they can't both be right."
Pausing as mainline clergy often do when dealing with issues that expose infidelities in a way that makes one wonder if they're having a vision or didn't make it to the restroom in time, he says, "You're right!"
Our last presbytery meeting comes to mind (3/8/08).
I didn't go because I had a memorial service (serendipity).
It was also on Saturday.
Parenthetically, lots of presbyteries have meetings on Saturdays to boost attendance; but, uh, stats show attendance is always lower on Saturdays than any other day. Regardless of the rationalizations, isn't that a metaphor for corporate dysfunction?
Uh, parenthetically, again, have you ever juxtaposed what happens for God's sake at presbytery meetings to how much it costs to hold 'em when you factor in gas, person hours, and so on? O.K., who missed the last class on stewardship?
Getting back to my presbytery which I've written about ad nauseum as being so much better than most in a franchise that's losing members even quicker than its Biblical faith and morality, one of our particular congregations presented an overture advocating the sanctity of all human life from before the womb to after the tomb.
Or something like that.
I knew it would fail; and it did.
But as I tried to encourage the advocates, our primary call is to witness rather than win; though we'd like to win if it honors Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture.
Parenthetically, again, that's why I don't lose any sleep over this stuff and usually exit with CL to an early lunch when such things are debated; or they're holding another encounter group to discuss our connections for what we'll never do. Besides, you know Who wins in the end anyway; and we know everybody's mind has already been made up before the debates begin. Geez! We've been discussing, debating, and dividing over this stuff for decades! Indeed, I wonder about the IQ of folks who really think anyone's minds can be persuaded to Biblical stuff at this moment of unsacred history.
Simply, tell the truth according to Divine revelation and trust He'll win in the end with or without us; which, sadly, is becoming the latter in mainline franchises which approach Divine revelation with an unseemly arrogance: "I know that's what Jesus and the Bible say, but I think..."
Some presbyters who pretend to be evangelicals (i.e., folks who love Jesus according to His Word) didn't have memorial services or weddings; but feigned family excuses so they wouldn't have to get off their fainthearted fences.
See the preceding joke.
I've received a plethora of e-mails and voicemails about the meeting.
It seems there was a lot of spewing going on in the meeting; especially by folks who think abortion pleases Jesus; or, uh, really don't care what Jesus prefers which makes one wonder what the Hades they're doing at a meeting supposedly held in His honor.
Be that as it is, peace was ruptured in our presbytery.
I see a bad moon arisen...
Paul Swedlund, a good buddy, went home to Jesus on August 17, 1994.
He fell off a mountain in Colorado.
I told him that golf was safer.
After playing with me, he went back to mountain-climbing.
Anyway, Paul is one of the reasons why I remain to be faithful. I drafted him for our franchise after seminary from the UCC; which is really going to hell quicker than us. When another franchise called him about me which happened a lot back then and seems to be happening more often again, he said, "You better stay, pal, because you got me into this mess!"
Well, Paul was to the left of me on lots of stuff except the sanctity of all human life.
In one of his last sermons, he said, "What's the difference between children you see with us on Sunday mornings and children in the womb? To God, there's no difference; and as we're expected to take care of children we see, we're also expected to take care of children we don't see."
Then he talked about pro-lifers like Francis, Mother Teresa, Henri Nouwen, and, uh, Jesus as compared to abortionists like, uh, many of our friends in the franchise; and asked, "Now tell me, would you prefer your life and the lives of your children to be in the hands of _____ or _____?"
I'm baffled by folks who hug trees and save whales but...
David Feherty, TV golf analyst, wrote for Golf Magazine (April 2008), "I've always found the quickest way to get to know someone is to poke them where it's uncomfortable, and watch how they react."
Blessings and Love!