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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hole in the Church

My church is becoming extremely missions orientated. I mean unbalanced, in my opinion. A couple of months ago they passed out a book, "Hole in the Gospel". This book was a broad brush incitement of North American churches for their omission of Jesus' words about the poor.

Well in our church's zeal to feed and evangelize countries where the problem of hunger and poverty is systemic, they have turned a blind eye to the hurting unemployed in their own congregation. Now, they do give time and money to homeless missions and life shelters, and even embraced an African community of refugees. We ran a sermon series on the homeless and featured the authors of a popular book on that topic. A few years ago, when the crisis hit the front pages, they seem to have gotten the message that unemployed and under employment was getting severe. So, in response we invited people needing jobs to write their job requests on paper bags, folks listing job postings on other bags, then to pin the bags on the back wall of the church. This lasted a short time and the momentum was never followed up on. I guess the "Great Recession," was abated by the paper bag stimulus!

Meantime, all the while I sit in the pew sinking further into hopelessness and despair without any real help or outreach. I started to internalize that this was God's way of ostracizing me because of every conceivable sin I ever commit or committed. I felt ignored,abandoned and marginalized.

So, I came to them and proposed an outreach to the unemployed. Well they ran it by a committee and they pooh-poohed the idea of starting a group of people in career transition. After some further prodding by me they said they would allow me to hold a class in conjunction with other class studies they hold semi-annually. To make a long story short no one officially signed up for the class, therefore they arbitrarily cancelled it the day before it was to be held. The answer I received was that its not personal it's business, more "Godfather" than bible. So, no people in the class therefore no problem exists. Move on and stay the course of reclaiming the third world, because these pampered. spoiled American Christians are unappreciative that they have running water and indoor plumbing.
...too be continued..

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Turning a corner

On Monday I turn 60. That's a milestone no one wants to hit with no 401 k and no job. I am pretty bummed about it. I just see me as a Wallmart greeter or security guard until I drop over dead.
It reminds my of the song "Send in the Clowns," the line, "losing my timing this late in my career, there ought to be clowns".

Isn't it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.

Isn't it bliss?
Don't you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can't move.
Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns.

Just when I'd stopped
Opening doors,
Finally knowing
The one that I wanted was yours,
Making my entrance again
With my usual flair,
Sure of my lines,
No one is there.

Don't you love farce?
My fault, I fear.
I thought that you'd want what I want -
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns.
Quick, send in the clowns.

What a surprise.
Who could foresee
I'd come to feel about you
What you'd felt about me?
Why only now when i see
That you'd drifted away?
What a surprise.
What a cliché.

Isn't it rich?
Isn't it queer?
Losing my timing this late
In my career?
And where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don't bother - they're here.