Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church
December 22, 2008
Good Tidings of Comfort and Joy
Dublin Community Church was for many years the only church in Dublin. But, that was long ago when the town had only a few hundred residents. I have heard many of the long-time members say that on any given night in the church classrooms and parlor there were numerous church and town organization meetings.
“If you wanted to find anyone in town who was not at their home,” said a friend, “all you had to do was come to Dublin Community Church in the evening and go through the classrooms and in some meeting, some where in the building you would find who you were looking for.”
One would suppose that was not the case today at Dublin Community Church, seeing as how Dublin has 40,000 + people and dozens of churches.
But I beg to differ. Granted, a majority of the 40,000 citizens of Dublin are not strolling the halls of our church entering a meeting, but the number and size of meetings has not diminished. The characters have changed but the importance of Dublin Community Church being the “Community Center” of this city has only increased.
If you will….take a walk with me through the halls last Thursday night.
In the middle of the afternoon I was in a meeting with our Association Minister and Pastor Lisa and a Taiwanese Christian minister. The discussion centered around a possible Chinese Christian Church in the Dublin area. It will begin, if it begins, with a gathering of Dublin vicinity Chinese Nationals who wish to hold Bible study. We surveyed the parlor, Gladden Chapel, Goodwill Room and Kennedy Rooms (I haven’t discussed this with Council, it is that new, so don’t mention it to them, please). For the time being they just need a room. We’ll see what happens.
I had to finish that meeting so an Iraqi family could meet with a church member in my office concerning government programs available to the refugee family. As we were meeting, people kept coming to my open office door enquiring about signing up for Christmas toys being distributed by the Fire Department (I think). Turns out, that was being done in the Food Pantry office down the hall. Some of our church members were assisting dozens of needy families.
We finished our meeting in my office. Down the hall in the Kennedy Room was a Red Cross First Aid class, with a number of locals taking a first aid course. I don’t know the name of the leader, but she was familiar enough with the building that she knew where the TV/VCR was stored. She got it herself. It was about then, that I took the Iraqi family to the food pantry for food. Even I was not prepared for the sea of humanity in the Food Pantry.
There were dozens and dozens of folks receiving their food. It was well organized. I heard staff and volunteers speaking to the clients and to each other, and in spite of a very hectic evening and crowds…each spoke with respect and joy to one another. In the Goodwill Room was a Counselor who was attending to some of the clients’ needs. Local high schoolers were assisting with clients and taking their shopping carts with food out to their cars. “Merry Christmas,” the fellow said to us as we left.
Earlier in the day there had been two (or was it three?) AA meetings held in the Kennedy Rooms and the next night would find the Goodwill room to overflowing with families of community members who are a part of AA.
Is it worth it for Dublin Community Church to be the “Community Center?” I believe it is. I am the Senior Minister and half the time even I don’t know what groups and what people are going to be walking through our building. Is THIS what we keep this building for? After all, the vast majority of those at our building on Thursday were not church members. Maybe we should lock it and require a Members-Only policy.
Yet, I hear no one saying that our building is for us ONLY. I wouldn’t want us to institute such a policy. On Thursday, we had people of all colors and ages in the building. We had people of all economic classes seeking and helping. We people of various countries…Taiwan, Iraq, America, Mexico, maybe a Somali or two… attending and taking advantage of programs that gave them dignity and hope.
Someone asked recently if Jesus returned, then where would He come from and what would He look like. I don’t know but it is an intriguing question.
But here is another question…If Jesus came to Dublin Community Church on Thursday evening last week…would He be pleased with what He found going on in our building? Would Jesus think this is what following Him is really all about?Jesus will indeed return again this Christmas. You tell me what He would be thinking about the goings on at DCC.
Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing