Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Minor damage here, major elsewhere

Foundry's bell tower had minor damage.

The wood looks old but it still feels solid.

It had just been painted a few months ago.

So the damage here at Foundry is minor. And our rain spouts which tend to clog ran freely throughout the storm.

We are thinking about and praying for our friends in New Jersey and New York. One of our staff members has family living in Zone A in New York City. She spoke to them for a few minutes yesterday before the phone service cut out but has not been able to connect since.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is already responding. We can help. Text RESPONSE to 80888 to give a $10 donation to support disaster response. We can also donate online.

I suspect there will also be a need for work teams. We are waiting to hear from Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Praying with my ipad

Anybody who has been around Foundry at all has heard me tell about how I start my day with my ipad and my prayer lists.

One list is a list of people and circumstances I pray about. A person trying to make a parenting decision. Someone just diagnosed with a disease. Someone wrestling with a mental illness. Her father. Someone waiting for biopsy results. Someone looking for a job. Someone trying to find the strength to forgive a loved one. A strained marriage. Someone whose parents refuse to come to his wedding.

The other list is prayers for Foundry's ministries ... ending homelessness, ending GLBTQ discrimination, rebuilding Haiti's future, ending the prison to cradle pipeline.

My ipad has actually helped my prayer life. I am less likely to forget.

Someone emailed me a link to a wonderful website about prayer by photojournalist Steve McCurry.  Find it here. Email has strengthened my prayer life as well.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ask the pastor ... pets in heaven?

I was invited to be a guest pastor in the Pastor's Corner of a brand new animal welfare website called Humane Dominion begun by Reasa Currier who attended Foundry before moving too far away.

The question was about whether someone could have any basis for hope that they would see a beloved pet again in heaven.

John Ortberg would have said that it depends on whether it was a dog or a cat. It was a cat.

Here's my answer.

How would you have answered the question? Please comment below.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

You are the best!

In 2001 Time magazine named Stanley Hauerwas America's Best Theologian.

In his autobiography Hannah's Child Hauerwas says he found this out when the head of Duke University's public relations office stopped by his office to tell him the news.

Hauerwas's response was, "Best is not a theological category."

For a second year in a row Foundry Church been named the Best Place of Worship in the Blade's Best of Gay DC Awards.

Even though best may not be a theological category, we sincerely thank the Blade and all of those who voted for us for the honor. You are the best!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A new Foundry in town

Foundry Lofts is leasing apartments in their beautiful renovated historic building in Southeast Washington, not far from the ball park. 

I called Foundry Lofts and told Pattie who answered the phone that I thought they had come up with a wonderful name for their building. I asked her why they decided to call it Foundry Lofts. 

She said that it had formerly been a joint and machinery manufacturing building. She wasn't in the room when the name Foundry Lofts was chosen, but she thought it was because Foundry Lofts is catchier than Joint and Machinery Lofts. 

I think they called it Foundry Lofts because the name Foundry has so many positive feelings attached to it here in Washington, DC. 

By the way, the Foundry Lofts slogan is "Forge a new LIFE at Foundry Lofts." The slogan works just as well if you replace the word "Lofts" with the word "Church," doesn't it?

Friday, October 26, 2012

What?!! Christians shouldn't vote?!!

Wow. Some Christian leaders are suggesting that Christians should vote for neither candidate in the presidential election happening less than two weeks from now, according to a Religion News Service story written by
Jen Pollock Michel, a devotional writer, and Dwight McKissic Sr., an African-American Southern Baptist pastor. Michel is a Republican who dislikes Romney's attitude toward health care but can't bring herself to vote for Obama. McKissic dislikes Obama's attitude toward same-gender marriage but can't bring himself to vote for Romney.

Jana Bennett, a Catholic ethics professor, offers a particularly poignant quote. She says, in part, "I think I’m being asked to rip myself in half, figuratively speaking, by one party or the other, or both..."

Phil Wogaman once told me that when he was pastor here at Foundry from 1992 to 2002 he preached an annual sermon just before election day on the responsibilities of citizenship, the prime example being the responsibility to vote. I wonder if we need to start preaching that sermon again.

So what if neither candidate is perfect? As a social worker friend says: "The perfect is the enemy of the good."  

Thinking about this also reminds me of my old friend, David Gracie, the Episcopalian priest and peacemaker, who died in 2001. Back when we both were active in the peace movement, there used to be long arguments about whether we should allow American flags in our church sanctuaries. Most peaceniks argued against flags in the sanctuary. David argued for them.

David's argument was that it is good to acknowledge that when we worship we worship as citizens of an earthly nation and that the stewardship of our citizenship is one of our Christian responsibilities.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Technology is now brighter than I am

Technology is amazing. We have a Foundry Great Day of Service coming up on Saturday, Nov. 3, and I just signed up to participate by going here and clicking the blue button that looks like this.

The blue button took me to a list of 12 different projects I could sign up for. I chose  Calvary Place. The description for this project said: "Help clean up this historic building that will soon be transformed into supportive housing for homeless individuals."

But I also could have chosen the Foundry Card Factory. " Help make cards for members of Foundry who are sick, celebrating a birthday, or anniversary. We'll also be making Christmas cards to hand out to clients at the Friday Walk-In Mission's annual Christmas party."

Or I could have chosen Jubilee Jobs. "Work with individuals seeking employment to conduct mock job interviews." That sounds exciting!

And by clicking the button that looks like this, I automatically added Great Day of Service to my Outlook. 

I think I really want to spend Nov. 3 helping to clean the grounds around Calvary Place. I am still tempted, however, by the opportunities to help cook a meal at Christ House or to help prepare vegetable garden beds for winter at the Transitional Housing Corporation.

Shortly after I signed up, I got this email:
Here's a message from your VolunteerSpot organizer, Kevin Wright, Director of Social Justice Ministries:
Dear Dean Snyder,
Thank you for signing up for Foundry Great Day of Service. You have the following upcoming commitment(s):
For Saturday, November 03
  • Calvary Place (1 spot) - Kids welcome! Help clean up this historic building that will soon be transformed into supportive housing for homeless individuals.
PLEASE KEEP THIS EMAIL MESSAGE - it's your link for accessing your signup at anytime in the future.
 I notice that I can still change my mind about which project I want to help do.

Technology is brilliant!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Swords into ...

A note from Phil Carney, photographer for last Sunday's Foundry ministry fair ...

Sunday's balloon artist made balloon swords for a bunch of boys and I waited for the photo op of them having balloon sword fights. They never did. 

One by one each boy reversed his sword and played with his balloon cross.  Fascinating...


Monday, October 22, 2012

Another Methodist controversey -- chewing

 At Foundry I am not allowed to spit tobacco juice in the pulpit. The following is a quote from Foundry's history: 
On March 16, 1831, the Baltimore Annual Conference opened its sessions at Foundry Church. Six days later, a memorial on the use of tobacco was presented and read...."The practice of chewing tobacco has grown to such an extent amongst our members, and others who regularly attend our houses of worship, and has become so great a nuisance in the house of God as to require serious attention." ...
The floor, the benches, and the walls were often "besmeared and stained in a manner so filthy, as to disgust and even sicken..."
On March 17, the Conference voted unanimously to disprove the practice of spitting tobacco juice "on the floors and in the Pulpits of our Church."
From Homer L. Calkin, Castings from the Foundry Mold: A History of Foundry Church Washington, D.C. 1814-1964, pp. 79-80.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Must we reopen the Methodist pickle debate?

John Meunier, veteran United Methodist blogger, has unwisely reopened the Methodist pickle debate. Can't we just let some of these intractable issues alone? Don't we have enough issues on our Methodist plate already?

Yesterday Meunier posted a quote by John Wesley concerning the consumption of pickles. I assume it is from Wesley's Primitive physic, or, an easy and natural method of curing most diseases, a blockbuster best seller of its time.

The Wesley quote Meunier recklessly resurfaces is in response to an opponent of pickle-eating:
Another instance of exaggeration we have, in what he says concerning pickles. It may be allowed, that they are not wholesome to persons of a delicate constitution. Perhaps, too, the using of them in large quantities may impair a good constitution. But still I cannot commend the condemning of them universally, as no less than poison. I really believe a man of a firm constitution might use a small quantity of them daily, yea, for forty or fifty years together, without hurting himself at all.

This statement would seen to contradict other statements made by Mr. Wesley himself.

The preface to the edition of the Primitive physic posted on the website of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church (in this case entitled Primitive Physick) clearly states: "All pickled, or smoked, or salted food, and all highly seasoned, are unwholesome."

Which statement is to be considered the authentic Wesleyan viewpoint?

This must surely have been relevant during the United Methodist boycott of Mt. Olives pickles in 2004. A few months after the 2004 General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted to join a five-year-old boycott of the Mt. Olive Pickle Co. organized by the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, Mt. Olive and the North Carolina Growers Association agreed to participate in collective bargaining. 

During the Mt. Olive debate, no one really addressed the deeper issue of whether Methodists ought to be eating pickles in the first place.

Meunier laughing!
This issue had thankfully remained dormant ... until John Meunier imprudently chose to stir the pot yesterday. (Some people just are not happy unless they are agitating!)    

It should be acknowledged that pickles are not the only substance toward which Wesley had an ambivalent attitude. The United Kingdom Tea Council's social history of tea drinking in England includes the following statement:
 ...a few decades later in 1748 John Wesley, the great preacher and founder of the Methodist movement, was arguing for complete abstinence from tea, on the grounds that it gave rise to 'numberless disorders, particularly those of a nervous kind'. He cited the example of himself, claiming that tea drinking had caused in him a 'Paralytick disorder', which had cleared up since he began to abstain from the beverage. Wesley urged that the money previously spent by an individual on tea should instead be given to the poor, and as an alternative hot infusions could be made from English herbs including sage or mint. His argument was certainly thorough (although medically entirely incorrect), and he even touched on how one ought to deal with the awkward situation of having to refuse an offered cup of tea. The tract is shot through with the emphasis on the religious importance of self-denial that was a central tenet of early Methodism, but in fact at later in his life Wesley went back to tea drinking.
(Oh my! I hope I haven't inadvertently resurfaced the Methodist tea-drinking controversy.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sermons everywhere!

Riding the blue line train of the CTA between the Loop and Ohare, at almost every stop there is a recorded announcement concerning train etiquette. One announcement says: "Please move your belongings from the seat next to you so other passengers may be seated."

I picked up my backpack from the seat next to me and held it in my lap even though there were plenty of empty seats.

Then I wondered how often our belongings take   up other people 's space in the world? Do our belongings keep other people from getting close to us? Are our belongings crowding other people out of our lives?

Well, you get the point.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Our Methodist mess

Rev. Vicky Fleming, pastor of Bethel United Methodist Church in Bethel, Conn., has written  a column for her local newspaper, the CT Post, that I find both charming and powerful.

In maybe 800 words, Rev. Fleming summarizes the history of Methodism, what happened at the 2012 General Conference of the United Methodist Church, and the mess our denomination finds itself in these days.

Rev. Vicky Fleming
She believes the heart of the problem is that we have too many buildings. Because of the means of transportation at the time Methodism spread across the United States, the Methodist Church ended up with church buildings only a few miles apart. Now we have too many buildings that too many people love too much to let go of, even though this is not an effective way to operate a denomination.

This is a real problem.

However, my nomination for United Methodism's biggest problem is our Book of Discipline. General Conference micromanages local congregations and annual conferences and general agencies. It micromanages everything. The Discipline includes hundreds of pages of shalls, shoulds, ought tos, mays, shall nots, should nots, and may nots.

One of my favorite example of how convoluted the Book of Discipline has become is the section about how local churches should be organized. It goes on for pages and pages and pages with required committees, councils, and structures, including the number of members committees need to have and long lists of powers and responsibilities.

Then it adds that, with the district superintendent's approval, local churches can organize themselves in whatever way works best for them so long as the structure provides for the basic functions of effective programs, pastoral leadership, financial management, etc.

Why not just tell churches they can create their own structures so long as they accomplish the purpose of effective programs, pastoral leadership, financial management, etc.? Our people are not without intelligence. These days running a farm or being a public school teacher or being retired on Medicare is as complicated as running a church used to be. Our people can figure it out.

If General Conference would stop micromanaging, maybe some bad things would happen in a few churches. But creating endless rules and regulations to avoid every possible mistake just ties the hands of the overwhelming majority of our congregations. And bad things happen in a few churches anyway in spite of all the shalls and shoulds and nots in the Book of Discipline. 

Hey, General Conference, we are not incompetent! And, as Rev. Fleming subtly points out, you aren't exactly looking all that competent yourself these days.

There is a member of Foundry Church who wants to send a resolution to the next General Conference saying that the length of the Book of Discipline shall be cut in half. He says he doesn't care which half is cut out so long as it is cut in half.

Anybody want to cosponsor his resolution?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Three things I don't want to do this weekend

Here are three things I do not want to do this weekend.

1. See a movie about hell.

2. Read a book about Satan (even if one of the authors is our friend Miguel De La Torre).

3. Read blogs about  demons, exorcisms, and ghosts (even if they are written by Shane Raynor who seems to me to be a good guy.)

See you in church where we will be thinking about how to propel our lives toward heavenly things.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Talk to the animals!

Last Sunday something like 20 dogs and two cats came to be blessed at Foundry Church's first blessing of the animals.

Our Scripture was Job 12:7 "But ask the animals and they will tell you ..."

I fell in love with one little guy who was so cute and vulnerable that I could hardly stand it. But he obviously was already very much in love with his human companion and only willing to tolerate me. But just look at that face!

Another guy must have been an introvert. All the other animals and people around him seemed too, too much for him. He hid under Pastor T's robes and did not want to come out.

We were especially thrilled that we had a special guest at the blessing. Scoop! Scoop is our friendly and lovable neighbor here in Dupont Circle who reminds us to scoop up after our pets.

It was a great Sunday afternoon. We are planning to do it again next year on the second Sunday of September.

Our thanks to all the creatures who came out to be part of the service.

Our special thanks to Doggy Style Bakery Boutique & Pet Spa and Planet Pet who provided treats and door prizes.

Pastor Dawn taste-tested the doggie snacks and said they were great!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Just-because-it-makes-me-feel-better Sunday

It has been a tough week in a number of different ways. Here is a photo of three-year-old boys playing soccer. Looking at it just makes me feel better. Check out their faces! (Thanks to Beth Scott for sharing this photo on her Facebook page.)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dear Drew,

Dear Drew,

It was going to be the largest crowd I'd ever spoken to at that point in my life. By far.

I just couldn't get what I wanted to say clear in my mind as I tried to prepare for  the talk I'd been invited to give. I slept very little the night before.

When I walked up to the podium, the lights in the auditorium went out and spot lights shined in my eyes. I could not see the audience and I could not read my notes.

I did the standard "thank you's." For the first 4 or 5 minutes I was funny and even edgy. People laughed.

And then I lost my way. I rambled. I wasn't on point. I wasn't clear. I finished my talk as soon as I could without the shortness of my talk being even more embarrassing than the talk itself. I took myself out of the game.

When it was over I felt as if I had let down the people who'd invited me to speak. I felt as if I never wanted to speak in public again.

People said the polite things they always say to speakers. I didn't sense much conviction behind their comments.

All I wanted was to get out of the auditorium, drive home, and hide.

Mike Wise has written a very poignant story about how you seemed to be feeling after last night's game. It  brought all those old feelings back from when I blew it big time doing what I do.

After 10 years, speaking at Foundry Church is like talking to old friends. But when I am preparing to speak at other places, I always think about that early experience and pray: "Dear God, don't let it happen again."

There is a verse of Scripture from the writings of the Apostle Paul that has strangely moved me for the past 25 years. Paul was writing about his "thorn in the flesh," whatever that was. It was something that made him weak.

Paul says that he prayed three times that the "thorn" would be removed from him. But, he says, the Lord answered: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness."

Then Paul adds these words: "Whenever I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:8-11)

I've wished that I could just wipe that early public embarrassment out of my memory. But it won't go away.

I suspect it has made me better at what I do ... less concerned about performing and more concerned about getting a message across. Less concerned about what people think about me as a speaker and more concerned about whether I've done right by the message I've been given to get across.

I know this is impossible to hear right now, but these kinds of experiences can make us better people and better players in whatever our "game" in life is.

I believe that.

So, Drew, be gentle with yourself. Let the people who love you the most take care of you for a while. Remember that you are a great pitcher and a good guy.

We love you.

Grace and peace,


Friday, October 12, 2012

Baseball, politics and God

The photo above was taken by my wife Jane.  She took the picture with her iphone as Jason Werth was preparing to come to bat in the ninth inning of last night's playoff game between the Nationals and the Cardinals. If anybody is not aware,  the game was tied. If the Nats lost they would be out of the play-offs. They had just lost two games to the Cardinals in which they had been beaten cruelly.

Notice the scoreboard. It is Jason Werth's photo on the scoreboard. Jane took the photo because she said she just had a feeling Werth was going to do something big.

Werth hit seven foul balls. He hit the next pitch into the visiting team's bullpen for a home run and ended the game. The Nats would live to play another day.

It was about as excited as I've ever seen so large a group of people. Nobody wanted to leave the stadium. Strangers were hugging. It was a kick.

I always feel a little bit guilty about being as much of a baseball fan as I am. One of the theologians who influenced me greatly as a younger person was William Stringfellow. I read his book An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land over and over.

Stringfellow was critical of spectator sports. I can't remember exactly how he put it, but he suggested that the passion that people put into supporting and cheering their teams was at the cost of time and energy that could have been spend on working for justice in the world. He suggested that human beings have within us a natural and God-given desire to work for justice. Spectator sports diverts this desire into a meaningless battle that changes nothing in the world but instead maintains the status quo. 

I don't recall Stringfellow ever explicitly referring to the Roman Empire's Bread and Circuses. But the implication was the same. Spectator sports keep all our energies focused on whether our sports team wins rather than whether our movement for justice wins.

My enjoyment of baseball a pleasure with a tinge of guilt attached to it. I have, however, never managed to give it up.

I want to live in a world where it is possible to both work for social justice and love baseball. It's sort of like the famous quote attributed to Emma Goldman: "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution."

Still, I worry a little bit that Bill Stringfellow may not have been all wrong.

So, after the baseball game last night, I dutifully watched the vice-presidential debate. I tried to get as excited about the debate as I had been about the game.

I failed.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Do we need to let Teddy lose now?

Am I the only person in the world who had never heard the expression "Gangnam Style?"

Yesterday Teddy started the presdients' race by himself with the other presidents not to be seen. Halfway to the finish line, the other presidents joined him, set up a boom box, and they danced for a couple minutes before Teddy took off and won the race for the second time in history.

It wasn't until later, when I read a Let Teddy Win blog, that I discovered they were dancing "Gangnam Style."

Apparently a video by a Korean rap singer named Psy in which he danced "Gangnam Style" is one of the most watched youtube videos ever. Last night I watched it and thought it was interesting. (I need to get out more.)

It turns out that, according to the Let Teddy Win webpage, there was a long commercial scheduled on TBS. The presidents' dance was used to fill up the time at the park.

I had no idea what they were doing or why. (I do need to get out more.)

My greater concern is that Teddy has won two races in a row now. Will he need to win every race now? Isn't this a lot of pressure?

I've thought there may have been a hint of grace in Teddy being the most beloved president in the Presidents' Race even though he never won. But there is certainly no grace in needing to win all of the time.

Are we going to need to start a Let Teddy Lose movement? 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dear Bo Obama

Dear Bo Obama

You turned four yesterday, according to Congratulations. We are sure you make the White House more of a home for your human companions who live and work there.

As a part of God's good creation, you and other animals are important. You are a blessing to we who are human, so we'd like to bless you.

We invite you, Bo, to our blessing of the animals which will be held this Sunday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m., on the patio outside the main entrance to Foundry Church at 16th and P Sts., NW, Washington, DC.

Hope to see you there.

There will be special treats.


The members and staff of Foundry Church

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Anybody got a goat?

St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City knows how to do a blessing of the animals. I don't think anybody can beat them. Watch a video here from their 2010 blessing.

St John holds its celebration on the first Sunday of October which, on the Anglican calendar of saints, is St. Francis Day. They have ponies, llamas, ostriches, tortoises, burros, camels and sometimes even elephants.

And they have goats.

I have a special affection for goats. Maybe this is because in the Bible goats do not seem to get a fair deal. In Leviticus 16:7ff , we are told two goats and a ram are to be Israel's sin offering. One goat gets killed and the other goat is driven into the wilderness as a scapegoat.

Frankly I don't quite get this. It wasn't the poor goats who sinned.

But that isn't all. Jesus' famous parable in Matthew 25:31ff talks about separating the sheep from the goats. Why are the sheep the good guys? What did goats ever do to anybody?

Jane and visited a goat farm in Maui once -- the Surfing Goat Farm. We got to feed the young goats, pet the babies, and watch the adults in the milking barn. Who wouldn't love a goat? And the cheese is excellent!

Jane and I would like to have a goat but apparently goats are not allowed on Capitol Hill. Maybe chickens will be allowed one day soonish, but there is no legislation pending to allow goats. 

Foundry Church is hosting a Blessing of the Animals on our patio Sunday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. The only animals we are going to bless in person are the animals you bring ... your animal companions.

But I really wish somebody would bring a goat to our blessing of the animals. I think we owe goats reparations, or at least a blessing.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hold me tight praying

The Center for Pastoral Counseling of VA is offering Hold Me Tight workshops. The workshops are based on the writing of Susan Johnson who wrote a book entitled Hold Me Tight

I especially like the workshop's "Seven Transforming Conversations." 

The reason I mention this is because I attended a service in a United Methodist church in North Carolina a while ago that included quite a few young adults, including young couples. During the pastoral prayer I noticed many of the couples holding hands or even holding each other. (I peeked.)

I was moved. Commitment is hard. Marriage is hard. These couples obviously saw prayer as a resource for their commitment. 

I came back to Foundry and suggested one Sunday that couples hold hands or even put their arms around each other during the pastoral prayer. A few did.

I myself have gotten in the habit of leaving the pulpit and sitting with Jane during Communion. Faith ought to be a resource for our marriages and committed relationships.It is a resource if we will use it.

I did hear back from one single person who said that inviting couples to hold each other made him feel lonely during the prayer. Good point. I don't know what to do about that. Any ideas?

(BTW, it is great to be part of a congregation that believes in marriage equality so no couples in our congregation are excluded!!!)

Check out the video here.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What Bing thinks about Methodists and Baptists

One of my favorite blogs is Remy's World written by Mark Remy at the Runners' World website.

Last August, Mark Remy posted a blog about Google. One of his favorite things about Google is the way it anticipates what you might be looking for as you type it, and makes suggestions.

This, he suggests, provides a clue as to the kind of questions people are commonly asking (and thinking) about whatever subject it is they are doing searches about.

Since his topic is running, he began to type a query and got these results:

I decided to try something similar. Using Bing, I began this search to see how Bing would finish the sentence "Why are Methodist ..."
Bing users think Methodist churches are dying?  Or that we are a cult? Or that we are unusually liberal?

Mark Remy did a search that began "Why does running ..." to see how Google would finish the sentence.  You can find the results here (warning -- includes at least one indelicate word).

 So I decided to do a search that begins "Why do Methodist..." 

This is very interesting. I wonder what percentage of Methodist church buildings have two steeples? I wonder how many Methodist congregations still say the Apostles' Creed regularly? And are there still Methodist churches where the ministers move more often than is the case in other denominations?

I decided to see how Baptists would do on the Bing test by comparison.

Not so well. The first one is "Why do Baptists hate Methodists" which I do not believe is true. (By the way, I also don't think the 5th and last lines are true either.)

Christians in general fared the worst of all ... even worse than Methodists and Baptists. 

I wonder if we could change the image of Christians if we all did a dozen searches every day to change the way Google and Bing finish searches about us?

What if we did searches like these: Why are Christians so generous? Why are Christians so forgiving? Why are Christians so accepting? Why are Christians so nonjudgmental? Why are Christians so friendly? Why are Christians so open-minded? Why are Christians so much like Jesus?

The other option would be to so clearly live this way that no one could doubt it. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Love your neighbor?

A new CBS/60 Minutes poll says that seven out of 10 Americans don't believe that Scientology is a true religion.

Is Scientology a true religion?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know/ N/A

Seventy-nine percent of evangelicals, 74 percent of Protestants, and 72 percent of Catholics surveyed responded that they did not think Scientology is a religion, according to a Religion News Service story.

Scientologists are our neighbors here at Foundry. We are immediately north of P Street. They are immediately south. I say hello to a scientologist almost everyday. 

Our Scientology neighbors are out on the street corner inviting folk in morning, noon, and night.

I once wore my Sunday Night at Foundry tee-shirt when I was shopping at my local health food store. The clerk saw the address 16th and P Sts. NW on my shirt and asked me if I was with the scientists. "Do you mean the Scientologists?" I asked.
 "Yes," he said. "My friends keep telling me I should take their mental health test."
"I am not with them, but we have a great Sunday evening service across the street," I said.
"I want to take the science test," he said.

If Scientologists are not a religion, they surely are evangelistic about whatever it is they are.

We could learn from them, maybe.