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Crump's Expressway

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James Fowler, author of fine writing on the subject of adult faith development said, “ . . . people sense deep down somewhere that the glitter of secularization, the distractions of the media, and the hypnotic engagement in consumption are but canvas skins covering yawning abysses in our lives . . . .” (in Practical Theology by Don Browning) For those who have longed for distractions, the summer of 2011 has delivered a big-box-store full of them –with a baseball player’s perjury trial, a mother’s murder trial, charges of corruption at a global media company, outrageous behavior by public officials that minimally deserves a strong rebuke from almost anyone’s grandparent. Only a few months ago the big story was snow covering most of the U.S. Now, hot weather; tomorrow something else. But the big story is our lives. In district leadership school we say, the congregation is the curriculum. Finding the meaning of life is abstract and, perhaps, not a worthwhile pursuit, as Rabbi Harold Kushner has reminded us. Your finding the meaning of your life is, however, a worthy pursuit. This gathered community supports your search and celebrates your discoveries. The more seasoned we are, the less breaking news and scandals du jour will impress us. Haven’t we seen it all before? And if not, the classics tell us that the triumphs of the human spirit are not fully appreciated unless we also appreciate human greed, hubris, pride, and the tendency to make unconscious errors in judgment. If we lifted up only one aspect of human experience, we’d become bored and cynicism would prevail. But a good church teaches the whole picture through stories of courage and faith from those in our midst and from our forebears. Not all, but enough of us, will be moved to turn off the distractions and focus on the meaning in our own lives, because we know that in our finite creatureliness we can make lasting differences for good. I’ll be speaking on this theme in August. I hope to see you in church. Please join me on Tuesday, August 9 at 7 PM, church office, as we read together and discuss Governance and Ministry by Dan Hotchkiss. We have several copies at church. With joy we gather for new beginnings in Religious Education. Join us for the All Community Installation Services, followed by a New Beginning Potluck and Fun Fair on Sunday, August 21. The John James Audubon Bridge, connecting Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana parishes, is a work of art. I beg you, please don’t change the name. For some of you, traveling over this bridge to go west may be out of your way, but I recommend you do so for at least one leg of your journey. The bridge is an exquisite, impressive rendering of two birds (that’s what I see) with giant wings spreading 2.44 miles over the Mighty Mississippi, protecting a flight of tiny birds (us) for our flight between St. Francisville and New Roads -- day or night security, whenever we wish to make the trip. Engineers have created a work of art for our state. It must remain The Audubon Bridge.