DCC News


Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church


January 4, 2007



Signs of the Times

Isn’t it interesting how we reach out to people? We do so in such different ways; sometimes never certain of how we will reveal ourselves and certainly never sure of how we will be perceived.

I commute to Dublin each morning. Never really done such a thing before. I’ve lived on a mission station in Zambia and the staff housing was just down the sand/mud road from the dorms and classrooms. In seminary I managed to rent student housing that overlooked the San Francisco Bay and actually had a full view of the Golden Gate Bridge (miles & miles away)…but the seminary classrooms were just up the hill, a few steps away.

I did have to commute twice a week to my church job in Walnut Creek , California out in the suburbs. While sounding very bucolic… Walnut Creek …it was and is a dynamic commuter community and now a corporate headquarters for many companies. And, frankly, it makes Dublin look like a low-rent district. But, I digress. I commuted against the flow of traffic to a part-time church job. My church ministries over the years all found me either a few steps from the church or in the case of Montana about 20 degrees below zero from my church office. (Where Herold, the church custodian would arrive early each day to graciously make coffee that was strong enough to dissolve porcelain.)

But, now I commute. Some one here a DCC told me to fill my coffee cup and get in the car and head out. I rather like the whole process. I like to drive. I like coffee (which is a prerequisite for being a minister). I enjoy driving through farm country on the south and hitting the 270 belt near Grove Port for the trip to Dublin .

It was near there that I noticed a small business along the road. I looked forward to his business sign each morning. Somewhere in October he seemed to be having a melt down. And to make it more interesting, he put it all on his signboard. I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a field day.

One morning near the time of the elections, I drove by and his sign, besides advertising his fine business, also said in huge letters…”Liberals Want America To Fail!” I know a lot of liberals and I wasn’t aware that they particularly wanted America to fail. And whether he was right or wrong, I thought the sign was a good way to alienate 30-50% of his clientele. He must have seen the light because that was gone in a couple days and he then put on the sign…”America Attack North Korea!” or something like that. The man needed to limit his caffeine intake.

I don’t know any North Koreans. I know a few South Koreans. Fine people. I knew a few South Koreans in Berkeley and I think they may have been rather liberal too. I don’t know what he has in mind for liberal South Koreans. His signboard never offered any suggestions for what to do with them.

It was pretty easy to figure out his anger at North Korea . That was at the time when North Korea exploded their nuclear device and most of the world was understandably not enthusiastic. They may have been startled but they were not enthusiastic about the actions of Kim Jong Il.


I remember his father Kim Il Sung from the news many years ago. Kim Il Sung was the dictator of North Korea back in the 70s and he rather set the tone for his son’s current rule of the country. At our library there at the school in Zambia, we would receive from North Korea’s propaganda bureau, boxes of slick, beautiful color magazines trumpeting the achievements of North Korea. Of course there was in each issue a pictorial of a glorious new chicken farm or the new shipbuilding port and at each and every chicken pen and port, there would be Kim Il Sung urging the masses to continue the revolution; one egg or ship at a time.

I understand that over the years North Korea has had trouble feeding its people. But if Kim Il Sung had taken half of what he spent on color print photo journals for African school libraries and put it into crop production… North Korea could have put the Central Valley of California out of business.

So, when a businessman puts on his signboard that we should attack North Korea , I think I can understand his frustration even if I don’t support the notion. I would suggest though, that if he is advising us to do so, I hope he, personally, is signing up for duty right now.

And what happened since? Well, North Korea is still bothersome. Liberals are still being liberal (and therefore, bothersome), but after his “Attack” sign he quickly put up a “Go Bucks, Beat Michigan!” sign.  He must have felt good about it because right after the Bucks actually did beat Michigan he altered the sign to read, “Go Bucks, Win It All!”

I was delighted. No questioning the character or patriotism of a large segment of Americans. No advocating our military to go attack another country. Just good old Buckeye Football bi-partisanship; something all Ohioans can get on board with. I guess he figured that which unites us is greater than that which divides us.

And, he probably figured it was better for business too; though I imagine he did lose his Michigan clientele.


Rev. Robert Tussing