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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Friday, September 02, 2005

"It's IN there!"

Ah, the Church! It is an amazing mystery.

There may be a time when you go in search of a parish 'home'. You go for peace and strength and worship and edification and enlightenment. There will be a honeymoon period. Afterward you just might become upset to find there is disagreement, feuds, factions, dissention in the church as much as any other institution. Why? Well, when you think about it, we open our doors to all in need, all who ache, all who long for direction. With that in mind, it is pretty amazing that - by the grace of God - the institutional church has lasted as long as it has!

About 10 years ago, there was a new prefab spaghetti sauce on the grocery shelves..... Prego.

Their add campaign went on and on about how everything you needed for a really good tomato sauce (or, as some Italian folks in my neck of the woods would say, "gravy")..... the kind that had that homemade taste..... could be found in this bottle of Prego . There was a specific recipe with all wonderful, natural ingredients. The tag line, of course, went's IN there.

That would pretty much go for Sunday's Gospel passage. Want to know how to settle differences in Church? Want to know how to clear up disagreements? Want to avoid "he said, she said"?? Read Matthew 18:15-20 because..... (you guessed it) it's IN there!

Got a problem with someone? Try to straighten it out - just between the two of you. Clear the air, patch it up. If that doesn't work (or if things get worse) try to have a conversation to straighten things out with a couple of witnesses - that way, it will keep the two of you on track and the interaction is less likely to be distorted by either party. If there's still a problem, go before the leadership, then the collective parish.

The idea - even in the Church's infancy in Matthew's telling - is to not to let disagreement or accrimony take hold between people. Not a bad idea, really. Be charitable, be sensitive, be honest, be open and up front. When you think about it, this is a good recipe indeed.

Yep, it's IN there! Amen and Amen.


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