Religion creates community, community creates altruism and altruism turns us away from self and towards the common good… There is something about the tenor of relationships within a religious community that makes it the best tutorial in citizenship and good neighborliness.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
A nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good.
Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
Here are two quotes that I’d like us to think about together. I have hope that the #Threehousestyle could be known as a community that exemplifies these qualities.
When I listen to folks and when I observe, I have a concern that many ministries and churches have become more concerned with personal salvation/ticket to heaven theology than with kindom of God/common good theology. When that kind of theology prevails, we become mostly concerned about ourselves and our own.
United Methodism in it’s best practices, is based on both vital piety (personal) and social holiness (common good). Sadly, throughout our larger church and in our culture we are in a time where we have to choose sides. Politicians seem to show more loyalty to their party than to the country and/or Constitution. Local UM churches are choosing sides in the current standoff regarding the welcome we offer to LGBTQ+ people, between orthodox belief/doctrine and full inclusion which might mean updating our doctrine/beliefs.
As I think about our #threehousestyle of doing ministry and the opening quotes, I am moved by and proud of how we work to show deep hospitality, actions of service and expressions of welcome which are grounded on God’s unconditional love. For example we make our building available to many groups during the course of a month. Recently a student group was able to host a 12 evening celebration of it’s Muslim faith. During the UNI Homecoming parade, a number of groups shouted out about how Wesley/Threehouse was their place to rehearse or meet. We are known! In my experience that’s where we begin to encounter the community common good. And we just might discover God’s love ourselves.
Come check us out. Let’s talk.