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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

September 10, 2010

THE 8:17

We had a community meal at the church on a Sunday evening.

People came and stood around and talked. A few went over to the coffee urn and poured a cup. Many fussed over the preparations.

At 8 pm we had not yet eaten, in fact, most of our guests had not yet arrived. But then they came quickly. The sun went down and we offered prayers. Our guests showed a video of beautiful scenes of their country while one of their men chanted a prayer. Everyone from our church offered what we call, The Lord’s Prayer.

People considered the prayers offered by the others with gentle smiles. Respect was given. I imagine a few were a bit tired (from the lateness or perhaps hunger), some did not quite understand the significance of the other group’s prayer, but respect was evident. No one got terribly excited or bewildered by the others’ prayers, mainly because the food tables were groaning under the weight of the food, which was brought by our friends.

It was familiar and exotic. Meat, rice, potatoes, sauces, gravies. The vegetables looked familiar and tasted great. The desserts were very sweet. The people of each congregation mixed it up at the tables. Half us and half them. We talked, we ate, we shared.

I sat with a fellow from a country I could not spell but he used to live in Chicago. He liked Columbus because he didn’t have to commute two hours to and from work, like in Chicago. He liked that. (Imagine! Two hours a day.)

The kids ate. Their kids wore T-Shirts with the logos of Big 10 football teams. Someone spilled something. Someone cleaned it up.

Kind words were offered by the leader of our guests. I and Pastor Lisa offered similar words and people from both congregations smiled while attending to their kids and their spouses. More kind words were said and we were done.

Food and conversation had been shared. Families and individuals came together. World peace was not achieved. Lifetime friendships were not formed. We had a meal and we shared and we smiled and then we got into our cars and left.

Christians from Dublin Community Church. Muslims, mainly from the country of Turkey.  In the midst of an angry world. A world where everything and everyone is either “us” or “them”,  “ours” or “theirs”; there was nothing remarkable about the evening.

And that is precisely why it was so remarkable.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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