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

October 15, 2010

OUR DEEPEST FEAR (thanks MW)

My favorite “Ministry Story” is a very simple one and it is one that I have repeated many times over the years…so bear with me for a moment.

It was some years ago when I was Pastor of a small church. I had a simple office (no window) off the sanctuary. I was seated at the typewriter, had my feet propped on the desk and was reading the Bible. A parishioner came to my office door, looked in and said, “Oh, I’m glad you’re not busy.”

Now, in her defense, my policy has always been, if my office door is open, you are welcome to stop by and stop in. Now matter what I am writing or reading…if the office door is open, you are welcome to sit down.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how busy we all are and yet, we find time to do what we want or need to do. Permit me now, to write a sort of Part 2 to that e-gram. It is a very simple story about giving our selves time.

We have various Bible study opportunities at our church. All churches do. One of the things we try to balance is the simple and the complex type of studies. In the former category I would place our Fall Book/Video Series. I suppose I could spend a lot of time and program three books and three videos that “interlock;” that dwell upon one theme like “alienation” or “Brotherhood/Sisterhood” or “finding God” or “Great Sports Stories.” The Fall Wednesday Book/Video series is not Bible Study or scholarly. Other series are.

No, in the Fall I chose three books that I want to read and three videos that I have seen and want others to see and if they fit into a theme, then we are all amazed. But there is some little voice in the back of my mind that says, “Maybe we should indeed, have a ‘theme’ a ‘link’ among the books and videos.” But after two weeks of this series, I am inclined to say what I do every year… “no need.”

Our first week was a discussion of Reading Lolita in Tehran by Afir Nafisi. It is an incredibly complex, thoughtful (some said, “dry,” “boring.”) book of the Iranian Revolution as seen through the eyes of a woman classic literature professor. I liked it; many did; some did not. Nevertheless the discussion was lively and the evening’s soup, bread and cookies made for a wonderful fellowship time. Our second week was a simple video “Akeelah and the Bee.” It is the story of an African American girl who becomes a part of the National Spelling Bee and the odds she overcomes to triumph.

It is fiction and wonderful. There was hardly a dry eye in the place when it was over. It was the kind of film to make you “stand up and cheer.” I hate films that make you “stand up and cheer.” But I enjoyed the evening  AND that film. I enjoyed the fact that so many in our Wednesday group give themselves permission to take an evening to mingle with others, enjoy a simple meal, discuss a book or view a video together. It was fine.

It’s also interesting that I write that we have to “give ourselves permission to take and evening to mingle with others.” Seems to me, that such things should be priority number one, without asking ourselves for permission. That in itself is a reason to stand up and cheer.

Peace,  Rev. Bob Tussing

p.s. Wednesday Nighters….Google the Akeelah quote at the top. You’ll be surprised!

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