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

November 30, 2012

BATTERY PARK

I remember one elderly woman at a church I served. She had a favorite expression, which, I suppose, summed up her philosophy of the world in general. She would always say to me that the “world was going to h*** in a hand basket.” She told me that a lot.

I took that to mean that the world had changed a great deal from when she was a child. And it meant that she was not about to accept those changes. It’s easy to see why. The world and its change have accelerated. One of my favorite expressions today is that “the only thing that is constant is change.” I hate “bumper sticker philosophy” because it deals in such generalities but I drive a lot and read a lot of bumpers and one can find out a lot about the human condition by reading peoples’ bumper stickers.

But, I digress. The topic is change. Rapid change. Change which does not show that the world is going to h*** in a hand basket. It’s about change which is here to stay, or at least until the next change.

My point? A few weeks ago, our Confirmation Class and many parents went to see the church and work of Holy Family Roman Catholic Church. It is west of downtown on Broad Street. And from what we could tell, it is a beacon of beauty and service in a changing neighborhood. The priest, Father Kevin, is a dedicated, interesting man. He leads his parish and is a positive force within the community. The church was lit and open for us to enter and we all gasped at the beauty of the sanctuary. It was built in the 1880’s and survived the great 1913 flood and thrives today.

They serve over 700 meals a day from their soup kitchen. As we sat in the sanctuary, Father Kevin told of the church’s work and suddenly one of our cell phones rang. We apologized but Father Kevin just smiled and said that his ringtone on his cell phone was that of church bells.

He then told us that every one around there had cell phones. Everyone. He said that all of the poor and homeless whom he serves have cell phones. It is their lifeline in the modern world. He passed no judgment on the seeming irony of the poor having cell phone contracts. He told us that there are numerous outside electrical outlets around the church and he makes certain that they remain “on.” The Father said that many of the folks in the neighborhood lean against the outside of the sanctuary and plug in their cell phones for the day.

It was an interesting example of the modern church recognizing the changes within society and making certain that the church there to assist. It’s a whole new world out there, and it probably is not going any where dire, in any hand basket, any time soon.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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