The Kind of Church
Donald Brown of Heber/Overgaard, AZ, USA
“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. -Luke 6:27-31
In the spring of 2018 I was invited to interview for a public school teaching job in northern Arizona. Within a week I completed a job interview and was offered a position teaching strings, orchestra, guitar, and elementary music.
When offered the job, my high school principal said to me, “You are the first Community of Christ member I have ever met, and you are the best music teacher I have ever observed. Help me, help us, to learn from you.” He has quickly become a close friend and someone I know I can trust and confide in.
Over the past several months, questions from new friends have been raised: “What do you believe about…?” “Who does your church accept, or not accept?” I realize that I represent Community of Christ in a tangible way for the first time to persons who are carefully, quietly asking and searching.
Recently a new friend shared a personal journey of being judged, being deemed “unworthy” for not measuring up to a certain standard or expectation. In tears he asked me, “In Community of Christ, would I be welcome? Would your people accept someone like me-mistakes and all?” I responded that Community of Christ is a welcoming, loving, faith community that accepts all persons, gives us freedom to grow spiritually, and is a community in which we know we are loved.
I know that for now I am meant to be here, to be a music teacher again, and to testify of a God who loves all people, a God who calls us all worthy. May we be that kind of church, that kind of people who welcome and love all those we encounter and share with.
God is here today. (“Dios est\xc3\xa1 aqu\xc3\xad” CCS 150)
Breathing in the Spirit
Find a comfortable but alert position and begin to breathe deeply. With each breath, feel yourself relax, releasing anything that feels constricting. Imagine that each breath is the wind of the Spirit moving through your being, stirring up what is most alive in you. Relax into the flow of the Spirit and notice what awareness or invitation emerges.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.