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

January 27, 2012

UNDER THE RADAR

I looked at his business card. On one side was written in large letters: “The Gathering.” On the other side was his name and that he was “Director of Communications.” His phone number, email and the city address of where he apparently worked, was listed. It also gave the website of his business.

He asked for my business card. I handed it to him.

My card has me titled as Rev. Robert Tussing on the first line. The second line has me designated as “Senior Minister.” The third line says, “Dublin Community Church.”

In the upper left hand corner is the symbol of the United Church of Christ, which is a cross on the world, with a crown on the cross. Underneath the words “United Church of Christ” are words from scripture “That They May All be One.” And if anyone has missed the fact that I am a Christian Minister, one of the phone numbers is for the “Church.”

My friend is a Christian Minister. A good one too. We worked on a service together. I found him professional, caring, and a wonderful man. Were he my minister in a church which I attended, I would no doubt be comfortable with his character and impressed with his command of Scripture and dedication.

What I found interesting is that his business card gives no indication whatsoever that he is a Christian Minister; or that he is minister of a church; or that the name of his church is that of…..well, a church. I could hand my card to any first grader and either the words, “church”, “minister” or the picture of the cross would indicate to an elementary student that I had something or other to do with a church. Unless one was told, I am not certain if an undercover Navy SEAL team with CIA connections could decipher from the business card that my friend was associated with a church as its minister.

I suppose that is intentional. I suppose that somewhere is a code out there that connects believers with churches and faith centers and roadside chapels that initially, intentionally are vague. They avoid any outward connection in their advertising that seems church-y, sermon-y…Christian-y. Early followers of Christ would identify their meetings or themselves by cautiously showing the sign of the fish. We see it still today on the bumpers of cars.

I went to the church’s website and found the place and its logo was a hot steaming cup of coffee. I know this to be a big, growing, hip church. They do, no doubt, preach the Scriptures and offer fellowship and comfort. That is a good thing; something all Christian Churches must do.

Many new churches in today’s society completely avoid all Christian symbols and anything that smacks of our fathers’ and mothers’ churches of the past. No cross. No scripture. No titles of “Rev.” These things would scare off the possible attendees. The cross and Jesus are introduced gradually, later, when the attendee comes to trust the ministers and the church.

I find this interesting. It says more about our society as a whole (and its suspicion of church-things) than it does about these churches, which have obviously found a way to thrive and grow. But, I hasten to add, putting the name “Christ” and a picture of the cross on my business card has not hampered our growth either.

Peace,
(And I will admit it upfront; I am…) The Rev. Bob Tussing

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