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Elder Compass - February 2020

Living with Change

by Patty Rankin

When I was younger, I thought our world was somewhat changeless. The sun rose in the morning; the seasons would come and go in the same rotation; my family had a stability that spoke of constancy. Now that I am older, I know that the one thing you can count on is change. I remember how the fact that the earth would one day disintegrate and would no longer exist shocked me, rocked my world view. How could that be? Would God really allow that to happen?

There is talk these days about how the church is changing. The old days of the stability and constancy of the church in our lives have gone. There is little loyalty to a ‘home’ congregation. People come and go as they see their personal needs and the needs of their family change. I believe we, as the Disciples of Christ denomination, have an edge over some denominations. Our top down administration has always been somewhat ‘loose’ and we are congregationally governed. We believe and practice the ‘priesthood of all believers’. At FCC, we welcome all and try to practice that welcoming in all we do. Diversity will be a crucial element in the changing church.

Yet there is much in our faith that is unchanging. The love of God for each of us is a constant that remains even as other things change. Love was the basic tenant of Jesus’ teachings, and it remains just as relevant today. Love and compassion shown through our activities in everyday life are essential elements in the religious expression of our lives. Our ongoing and new Wholeness Ministries are outgrowths of our love and concern for our neighbors, near and far. Jesus commanded that we visit the sick, feed the poor, clothe the naked, and help the imprisoned. When we are doing these things, we are loving as Jesus taught us to love. May we accept the changes that come with time and cling to the God-given truths that will always be the mainstay of our faith.

And now I give you a new commandment, love one another.

As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

If you have love for one another,

then everyone will know that you are my disciples.

John 13 : 34, 35


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