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

February 8, 2013

BEGINNING AT HOME

Recently I was reading about some of our Global Missionaries. One was working in the barrios of South America and another was working with Palestinians in the Middle East. One was working with the poor and another was working with people who had lost their land. Important work in which the church should be involved.

I admire those who are working on our behalf for a world where justice thrives. Perhaps there may even be a glimpse of peace. I am glad that we support it.

One of the things I mention in a wedding ceremony is that the couple standing before me must work for peace in the world. I am not necessarily talking about “Kum Ba Ya” peace or “Peace-Love” peace or “World Without War” Peace…though I would be delighted to see any of those types of peace prevail…but I am talking about “Where-Peace-Begins” peace. And to that I say that peace begins within your own home: within your own hearts. From there it radiates into the whole world.

The more pragmatic among us may say that such a notion is naïve. The more cynical may say that “it is a violent world out there, get real.” The more realistic may say the same thing. But, I tend to believe that all small steps begin with even tinier steps; that the smallest of actions is a step in the right direction. If I did not believe that, I could not be a Christian minister.

So, the case in point is a simple thing that we do in our church to work for peace. We eat chili and vote on the best that is served. We gather into Corn-Hole teams and play a tournament and declare winners. The Youth Work/Mission Trip gets the proceeds. Small steps.

But the best of the day was the crowds downstairs: and that we had to rub shoulders to line up for the chili and find a table to sit and eat. We got to talk with others who would normally sit on the other side of our sanctuary as we compared the taste of this or that chili. And when it came to the Corn-Hole Tourney, we had to concentrate, acknowledge our competitors, congratulate them as winners or accept their congratulations if we won (something that I personally did not experience last week).

During the meal and tourney, there was very little time to phone or text. Maybe there was time for photos. No time to surf Facebook. Just face-to-face encounters with other players/competitors/friends. Next time you are in the van with your three kids, notice how each has an iPod or is texting. There is probably little interaction until the destination is reached. Now consider a couple hours of food and friendly competition and how that forces/allows us to interact with others.

Indeed, we, as a church support children of Deep Griha in India and feed the hungry and homeless of South Columbus and strongly support the Dublin Food Pantry in our own church building. Yet, others work for the rights of Palestinians or the poor in Chile.

But it all begins with simple shoulder-to-shoulder encounters in the church fellowship hall where our ties are strengthened with one another. This work for justice in the world has to start somewhere. I suggest it starts in a Chili-Cookoff, and I think I am right.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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