Is my branch church welcoming the Prodigal Home?
People are looking for a community that will support them in their journey.
Some people are leaving and going to other denominations because they not finding support when facing a personal challenge.
Suzanne Riedel – Clerk of The Mother Church
(Annual Meeting of The Mother Church, 2016)
We’re in this race together ( Daily Lift – click Here)
by Scott Preller, CSB
Scott discusses “Heart Break Hill” in the Boston marathon. This is where the race is at its most difficult (20 miles into the 26 mile race). Community support is crucial to encourage the runner so they don’t fall away.
Scott goes on to compare this analogy to our church by not letting people feel excluded from their church community.
Or if a member has lost his job because honesty levels wealth then reach out and take common sense action: “Here is a care package of some necessities to help you through this time of difficulty”.
Or if somebody needs a ride then find someone. Perhaps they had an attendee with a reserved church parking spot who lives just a few blocks from the one in need and did nothing.
For the record I reached out to this person after helping him by taking several urgent phone calls in the middle of the night to help him but never once was offered a ride.
At Midwest Church alive one of the qualities people stated they were most looking for in church was “fellowship”.
Perhaps these members could put their words of “you can do this” into practical and common sense ideas like temporary shelter even if it is in their own church and not letting the “letter” kill the “spirit” by turning the stranger away at the gate.
The pampered hypocrite snitched “on the unselfish deed done in secret out the side door on an errand of mercy” and even scolded the “gentle hand who opened the side door”.
But I forgive you all for you know not what you have done.
Perhaps the person who was sleeping there was up at 5:30 AM working on his surrogate father’s eulogy which he had to present at the Free Mason Memorial service a week later.
Perhaps he practiced the reading of the eulogy out loud every morning in your board room to gain confidence before presenting it to a congregation of over 200 people the following week.
Perhaps this was a time of healing as the physical structure of church was a covert from the storm as he fought back the tears to get through the reading and mourn in privacy.
“At least you had a week before you got a voicemail to leave” was the only response from one who turned me in to the BOD of the branch church.
But Love found a way.
I had a former employee of The Mother Church and The Christian Science Monitor call me on the phone and say: “You can do this this and you are a Sentinel speaking on behalf of your surrogate father” after I spent the previous summer demonstrating that love doesn’t stop at the hospital door.
Doesn’t visiting hours help the patient?
Scott concludes: “We are in this race together”.
In closing, perhaps our Leader ( Mary Baker Eddy) gave clear and common sense direction on how to achieve this unity.
Perhaps it will fill some of the branch church’s back up again.
“Love is not something put upon a shelf, to be taken down on rare occasions with sugar-tongs and laid on a rose-leaf. I make strong demands on love, call for active witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand achievements as its results. Unless these appear, I cast aside the word as a sham and counterfeit, having no ring of the true metal. Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or goodness without activity and power. As a human quality, the glorious significance of affection is more than words: it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret; the silent, ceaseless prayer; the self-forgetful heart that overflows; the veiled form stealing on an errand of mercy, out of a side door; the little feet tripping along the sidewalk; the gentle hand opening the door that turns toward want and woe, sickness and sorrow, and thus lighting the dark places of earth” .
Mary Baker Edddy
(Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 250)