Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Be the Church!" Just Thoughts Essay

"Be the Church"--Just Thoughts

A banner in front of the Church of Christ in Chagrin Falls proclaims:

Protect the environment. Care for the poor.
Forgive often. Reject racism.
Fight for the powerless.
Share earthly and spiritual resources.
Embrace diversity. Love God. Enjoy this life.

At the bottom right, the banner proclaimed, "God is still speaking. United Church of Christ." A tear came to the eye because this is exactly what we Catholics ask of the Church. Pope Francis has spoken repeatedly, loud and clear, on exactly these issues. His apostolic exhortation, Evangelii gaudium, and his great encyclical, Laudato Si', are emphatic and powerful writings asking all humans to "protect the environment, " "care for the poor," and "share earthly and spiritual resources." 

The Holy Father radiates great joy, and even with the heavy burdens of the papacy, teaches us to "enjoy this life." The Holy Father, the great advocate of the environment and defender of the poor, walks the walk!

Is it such a surprise that the United Church of Christ is in such agreement with the Catholic Church? It shouldn't be. Remember that our creed says, "We confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins." We share the same DNA! We have many of the same beliefs and goals. Both traditions ask us to BE THE CHURCH!

[This essay was written for St. Mary's Painesville--for the bulletin for Sunday, August 23, 2015.]

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