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

November 9, 2012


I remember a number of years ago when I was in Berkeley. They told the story of how a scholar was visiting from Japan. It was a very wise, revered gentleman who had come. The seminary people told of how a new bridge was being built across the San Francisco Bay and they proudly told him that the bridge would “save travelers 60 minutes each day.”

And the visiting scholar replied, “And what will you do with that 60 minutes?”

No one had a clue.

We are light-years beyond that today. New bridges across large bodies of water are nothing. Today we have harnessed high-tech intelligence. All knowledge and facts are seemingly at our fingertips.

The other day, I was joking with someone about some animal and I said it reminded me of the lodge which Fred Flintstone (the cartoon character) belonged. Though, I could not exactly remember what animal the lodge was named after. Suddenly I thought that I could “Google” it. And I did. And within a few seconds I had “The Loyal Order of Water Buffalos.”

During the past couple months we have been reading and then discussing the Awakening Land Trilogy by Conrad Richter in the Wednesday Night Sessions. The three books have been well received even though they were written in the 1940’s. They chronicle the fictional Luckett/Wheeler family in Ohio in the early 1800’s. I and everyone else have carefully read each book and our delight and amazement grows with each as the story and family progresses. After each week’s meal and discussion, I keep feeling that something is odd about our gatherings.

I’ve decided it has to do with the fact that in these days of instant-information via the computer and smartphone, we are doing something that is definitely old-school. We are reading actual books (none of these are on E-Readers) and sitting face-to-face and discussing and laughing and marveling in real-time about the characters and their relevance to us today.

I love my smartphone and Google and that I can locate Fred Flintstone’s lodge name within about 45 seconds from the time I first think of trying to find the name. Yet, it still feels good to spend a month or so reading three books with 600 pages and then sitting down with 30 people and a simple meal and discussing the finer points of good literature with some good friends.

We haven’t saved any time by carefully reading and discussing those books, but look at what it has gotten us in terms of fellowship. It’s good for our spirits.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

(Next week is sort of a Part Two of the Technology Revolution, or “How on Earth Can Anyone Under the Age of 30 Sit for 14 Minutes to Listen to a Sermon?”

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