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Thanks for sending me back to read that chapter.

I am sobered by the story of a church in Atlanta that intends to discontinue its typical array of programs and worship services after Easter, in order to regroup and think about how it might address the overburdened foster care system in Atlanta, etc. It sounds like one of those evangelical mega-church type places -- but more power to them. http://www.shauninthecity.com/2011/03/its-true-preaching-my-last-sermon-series-courageous-church.html Feels like turning around the Titanic in the world of the established churches.

Clark West

Boy is this true! i was at a meeting of clergy yesterday and its amazing to me how much of our energy is spent in institutional maintenance. Many of us are trained to be more 'middle managers' than spiritual beings, and find ourselves needing to resist this even as our congregations need to resist thrusting us into this role. One way is to remember our less fortunate brothers and sisters--in Haiti, or Japan, for example, where the church's essence is distilled by suffering into the fragile presence of hope and love in the midst of trial.
They call us to ourselves if we will listen.

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