DCC News

 

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

 

May 29, 2009

                                                           

The Things You Think Are Precious

I have been in this situation before.

It is a sort of yin-yang type of situation. Sort of a left-right. Sort of an all-nothing. Sort of a 180 degrees situation. It’s fascinating too.

One of the more interesting aspects of hospital visits is when the full spectrum of life is revealed within 30 minutes and 5 hospital floors. More than once over my ministry I have visited a family where a loved one has died. I am in the room with the deceased and family members. I leave and go to another floor of the hospital to make another visit to a church family and this time there is the birth of a new baby. Loved ones surround and the mood is different. The Spirit is present in both. There are hope and dreams contained within the death and certainly within the moment of the newborn.

It’s a 180. And I, as minister, am invited in on the occasions.

I have gone from officiating funerals to officiating weddings within an hour of each other. Gone from weddings to funerals in the same afternoon. Very strange and I feel privileged to share these moments of intense hope, love and sadness. It is like walking from a very dark room into the bright sunlight or vice versa.

Such was the case the other week. I was invited to experience the gathering of the new church members in one moment and the saying goodbye of some close church friends who are leaving in another. In each case, I knew all of those present. In each case I was the minister of their church. In each case I felt privileged to be present.

We are starting a 25/35 Group, which incorporates Dublin Community Church members and friends who are roughly between ages 25-35. A few who have been included have noted that I am being very “rough” with that 10-year age span, though they thank me for including them. Recently we gathered some couples for a picnic in Hilliard. Ten people, seven and a half kids. Few of them knew one another. I had baptized some of their kids and the adults all averaged about a year of official church membership. They had all joined since I have been here. We were meeting for the

 

first time. There were many others who are interested and will be a part of future picnics and social gatherings, but for now…they are just getting to know each other. There were 19 of us present and now all 19 know each other. (Granted the little kids don’t, but you get the picture.) Everyone new. Everyone introducing themselves. Everyone sizing up the others.

I left the Hilliard “welcome” picnic for a Dublin “good-bye” party. Everyone in Dublin knew each other. Nearly all had been in the church before I got here three years ago. We were saying good-bye to some long-time members who are moving. It was sad and also glorious. I hate to see friends go, but I, myself have said good-bye to so many communities in my studies, work and ministry that I think it has altered my DNA and I am now programmed to “leave” when it is time. No, this is not my time, but it was for some good members and of Dublin Community Church. One of them was instrumental in my being here. Both are my friends. I will miss them but would not think of holding them here. I can only wish them the best and am grateful for the years I did get to know them. (And, at one point I want to say, “Take ME with you!”….since they are moving to a non-snow and ice state. But, I refrain. Too much the professional to throw myself around their ankles.)

Two gatherings. All church members. The yin and the yang. 180 degrees. Only ten miles and two hours apart. Very few in the first gathering know anyone in the second gathering. One gathering for “hello’s” and introductions and the shaking of hands. The other gathering for “good-byes,” words of remembrance and hugs.

And I find that I straddle both groups; both worlds.

My world.

What a privilege.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing