Week 06 of 52 - Free Methodists
So far have traveled about 71,000,000 miles.
I received my playing card as usual.† Now this Monday - Wes Horlacher met me at McDonald's - where I often go during my morning walk (to cancel the benefit from my exercise.)
Brother Wes said he thinks he may have figured out the playing card deal.† 52 cards in a deck - so whole deck during the year - He said maybe someone wanted to make sure that at the end of the year, Chuck Borough was playing with a "full deck."
Ok - wise guy - or gal - or a pair of you - who's sending the cards?† (It better not be Wes.)† (It's Fun.)
Thoughts during week before visit:
talked with some people a little during the week about
But what if their complaint is, "The Mormons think they are the only ones who can baptize and have it count with God."† I would have respect for that opinion - as it's not only a correct opinion - but bothers me too.† On the other hand, if they think Mormons are hateful - or donít care about people - or have horns - or something insane like that - then I'll think they are about as dumb about the Mormons as the Mormons are about speciation by natural selection.† They haven't done their research - and couldn't pass a simple test on Mormonism.† It's very much like a Mormon who could not tell you what the five main classes in the cordata phylum are - yet say evolution is bunk.† Strong opinions without reasonable research have always been a pet peeve of mine.
I believe the search for truth should be honest - and not just a search for a way to believe one is correct in an already held opinion.
The Free Methodists.
From what the pastor said to me, it appears that Calvin must have come from Episcopal stock.† As the break occurred - or maybe shortly after - slavery became an issue.† The Free Methodists, unlike other Methodists, were those who gathered in the belief that slavery was wrong.† Other desires for other freedoms became a part of their doctrine soon after.†
They appear to have quite a lot of freedom as to individual beliefs - not locked into a common belief list a mile long.† They can disagree as to whether the Old Testament is literal or not, for example.† That would give me some freedom to believe as I do, for example - that God is not as He is described in the Old Testament, but more as He is described in the New Testament.
We are a little proud that we can go to any Mormon meeting anywhere in the world and have the same Sunday School lessons - That probably wouldnít work among the Free Methodists.
Their meeting was simple - so different from last week.† There was a keyboard (However - their chapel is under complete renovation - and I assume that therein lies a big organ and piano.† It's quite a large sanctuary.† Will go back later to see.† We met in an informal area, which holds only half of them - so they do the meeting twice each Sunday until the renovation is completed.† There has been delay because all asbestos must be removed.† This is a racquet - because the stuff is only a danger during cutting and sanding, etc, when it becomes dust.† The very removal is a thousand times more dangerous than just having it already there.
The music words were printed - they sang many songs in about the first two-thirds of the meeting - accompanied by the keyboard (very talented player - kind of jazzy).† There was one guitar - and a tamborine - that's all.† They had four singers up front - and no director.† They could have held this meeting without any rehearsal at all, but it was friendly and warm.
That little thing that so many churches do - of taking a little time to shake hands beside you, behind you, and in front of you - they take a little further.† They take about ten minutes - and walk all over the room greeting everyone - so I was greeted by just about all of them.† I thought is was nice - and they all seemed to enjoy it - so I assume it doesn't get "old."
Next was the pastor's message.† He has a little two or three-year-old girl who has just gone through a dangerous medical drama - and has come to be healthy again.† Their gratitude is obvious - and that was part of what made up his talk.† She's one cute little girl!† We have lots of them in our ward - they had few children.† I asked the pastor about that - and he indicated that in the past several years they had not done as well as they should in making their program good for the children - and that families had left for other congregations.† They're working on bettering that now.† They do have a fully operational school through the eighth grade - but most of the children are not from their own congregation.
He also talked about work.† He said we should try to do less of it.† "After all," he said, "we all know that much of our work is just to get more stuff.† The stuff doesn't add so much to life as we believe it does."
Originally left out of report - from my notes:
That "Desire to acquire" robs us of enjoying what we already have. That SUV - or that new and different woman or man - they rob us of what we have. Your "stuff" is not really your own - but also - it is not you. Sunset magazine is a "clean" magazine, but it makes you want and want. Quit striving to get more and gain more. Slow down, and God will heal you of some of these wants.
He talked of keeping the Sabbath Day Holy - and said that the New Testament gives us quite a lot of freedom regarding what day to use.† It was kind of changed to Sunday from Saturday - as The Lord's Day (As we say also) - but he said that's not important - Saturday is fine also.
"I'm taking Monday off every week from now on - my good wife is here to hear me say it and hold me to it.† I work all day on Sunday - come on - that's no Sabbath day of rest for me.† So I'm taking Monday - donít call me on Monday unless it's an emergency - ok?"
I thought that was pretty cool.† Everyone laughed - and felt supportive of a very nice guy.
Last was the Sacrament.† "Our table is open to all who acknowledge our Savior." Done much as last week - they pass the wafer and the cups of grape juice - but wait until everyone has theirs - then say the prayer for the bread - and take that all together - then the prayer for the wine - and take that all together.† This time, I knew to wait before eating my bread.† This wafer was a little different - very much like piecrust.†
I happen to like piecrust.† I must admit, I have a wandering mind - and I thought a whole box of these with a little sugar and cinnamon - would be a nice thing.† (I repented on the spot, much as we have learned from J. Golden Kimball's writings.)
I thought it interesting that we (Our Church) has kind of "Set Monday Aside policy," - not just for the evening - but Monday all day - as a day for just the family.† Our Bishops, unlike these other pastors, are not paid for their work in the Church - must work at other jobs - and a real day of rest from any appointments, etc., must be an important blessing for them - and not nearly enough.† I always marvel at Bishops.† Bless their hearts.† Now I'm tearing up a little - I do miss you all.
The Hickens brought a sack of the most delicious apricots to us.† Poor Leona was out of town - darn - I had to eat most of them all by myself.† The Hickens were so good to my mom and dad during their last days.
You have great blessings among you - I know you donít need that information from me.
Love, Brother Chuck
09 of 53 - Trip Around The Sun Ė Free Methodists