This article was written by Mark Wiley, senior pastor of Claremont United Methodist Church and appeared in the church newsletter this week.
. . . As Christians, we believe in things bigger than or deeper than American values, traditions, and symbols. We embrace the Church universal, and our church in particular. But even as we support the church, we know there is always something more. We follow the movements of the Holy Spirit. We seek to make the political, social, and economic ties on earth to be more like those of heaven. We want to build God’s kingdom or realm or country on earth because it’s in that holy place where justice and mercy prevail, and grace is free for all . . .
It matters how we, or our ancestors, came to this country. But what also matters is that we have to see each as part of the same extended family . . .Our best selves always happen when we include others in the traditions that give us life.
The Today Show recently had an interview with David Black. David, whose Godfather is David Duke (yes, the KKK Leader), grew up in a white nationalist household. He changed his mind about hate groups because he was invited by a friend to a Friday night Shabbat meal. The Shabbat meal is held at sundown on the Sabbath, and marks God taking a rest from Creation.
One common Shabbat theme is that all persons are created in the image of God. Each is to be treated with dignity even if they hold contrary values and ideologies. So, they talked about everything but hate groups. And David found himself part of a different kind of family, not based on hating others.
We cannot be great, as a nation, church, or individuals, if we are building ourselves up by tearing others down. We simply cannot be our best selves by denying that God sees both ourselves and those we disagree with as having infinite worth and dignity.
Wednesdays Are Back
Come join us as we begin our fall mid-week gatherings. We will meet together to study and share a potluck meal.
October 10, 17, 24
November 7, 14, 28
With Bobby Duncan’s help we are planning a concert -- the cost to get in will be a donation of school supplies for our local schools. Details about the concert will be coming soon—
Keep inviting your friends! Our fellowship is enriched by each person who visits with us!
If you need to speak with one of our pastors:
Charlie – 210.379.1066
Jorene – 817.690.6244