So, as I’ve been reading and talking to people this past week, a couple of themes keep showing up in a lot of it……

I think in many ways, the main theme could be described as the need to move forward to the past.

That’s right move ahead to get back to where we need to be.

Move ahead to get back to caring about our neighbors.

Move ahead to caring about people on the other side of the world – even if they don’t believe the same as we do or look the same as we do.

Move ahead to caring about our church and being a member not an audience.

Move ahead to caring about the balance that we expect from our religious leaders – and do we set them up to fail?

Move ahead to helping in ways that really help.  Not by causing problems for businesses in the country by granting trade subsidies, not by sending donations that could best be purchased in the country.   Not by teaching kids that a white person from “America” is the one who can provide for them what their parents can’t.   Not by giving the kids at an orphanage the “picture” that the “white people” from “America” are the ones who have all of the money and once they get adopted, they will be able to get anything they want. 

Move ahead to providing a healthy dose of respect and appreciation for others in the music and movies of today.

Move ahead by respecting and loving all people – no matter how they might differ from you.

Move ahead by revamping our view of government.   As John F. Kennedy said,  “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”   Move ahead by moving back to a sense of self sufficiency and not a sense of governmental dependence.

Move ahead by thinking of social media as today’s front porch.   “Back when” people used to sit on their front porches and chat with their neighbors.   Now people use social media to insult their neighbors and to proclaim that they know everything.    What if we all used social media like a front porch.    It’s a way for us to keep in touch with people and to share ideas, to talk about topics, to discuss things – but in the kind of civil tone that you’d have if sitting on the front porch drinking lemonade.

Move ahead by adopting the Amish Barn Raising mindset.    Not the “do it all by hand” part but the “our neighbor has a need so we help” portion.

What would happen if we moved ahead this way?

What would the world look like?

What would people think about the church?

Hmmmmm……

Tom