Theology and Covered Dishes

It seems to me that sometimes church is about theology and sometimes it’s about covered dishes.

We need to talk about what we think and what we believe (all of us some of the time and some of us a lot of the time) AND we need to bring meals to people who are sick or have new babies or are otherwise overwhelmed by life and to know people who will do this for us.

Both of these are important parts of our spiritual development. Both the giving and the receiving. The speaking up and the listening to others.

I think that when people are looking for a new religious community or choosing whether to join a new community, they will decide based on some balance of these two elements.

As a meeting, do we make both kinds of opportunities available to people?

As individuals, do we make the time and have the courage to participate openly and honestly


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Blogger Gregg Koskela said...

A simple, beautiful, and effective word picture. Thank you!

10/21/2009 10:59 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Thank you, Gregg!

10/21/2009 11:58 AM  
Blogger naturalmom said...

Yes, this is so true. A rich, functional faith community will hold both our spiritual and our physical/emotional needs.

When I was a freshman in college far from home, I had to have minor, but emergency, surgery in my first month there. Someone in my parents' church -- which I had also attended of course -- bought my mother a next-day plane ticket to come be with me. This would have been quite a hardship for my parents to afford. I just cried when they told me. I felt so thankful and so loved by my church family. (In addition to the folks that bought the ticket, I knew that many others were praying for me.) The church was attentive to our spiritual needs, to be sure, but nothing they did spiritually was greater than the love and kindness they showed to my family and many other families in the church. In fact, since I have left much of their theology behind, I'd say this kindness and many smaller ones like it are the main reason I still have warm feelings toward my church of origin. The lives of the people there spoke for their beliefs, and how can I begrudge that, even if I no longer believe all of the same things?

I'm so blessed to have found a faith community (my Quaker Meeting) with the same level of love and care. My children may someday choose to trod different spiritual paths, but I hope they remain forever touched by the love in our Meeting as expressed in covered dishes and so many other little ways.

10/21/2009 11:08 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Yes, especially because so many of us live far from our families, we need communities that care about our personal lives. There aren't many in our society - people from my jobs didn't come to help us at home when I was on bedrest - Meeting folks did. Our co-op nursery school community was pretty close too.

10/21/2009 11:17 PM  

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