Inclusive Membership, Prophetic Vision, And The American Church
Twice a year, on Visitors' Sunday and on Oak-hurst's anniversary, Stroupe takes the opportunity to retell a bit of the Oakhurst story in the context of a biblical passage. The following reflection upon Mary's encounter with the risen Jesus, and how that story continues to shape and give meaning to the story of Oakhurst, was given on just such an occasion. It is an opportunity for visitors and members alike to walk again the rich narrative ground from which the recurring themes of Stroupe's homiletic voice have grown and from which they continue to receive nourishment.
Wilton Lewis stood with his hands on his hips, studying the sanctuary wall, not trusting himself to speak. He wanted to spit, was thwarted by the fact that he was inside, and instead swallowed hard and said, “This is vile. Disgusting and vile.” He turned to his right and added, “I apologize, Reverend Cashmore. This does not represent the good people of Port William. You know that, I hope.”
Since Albert Einstein is considered the genius above all geniuses, he is often credited quotes he never said. (If Einstein said it, it must be true.) That includes the saying that insanity is defined as doing the same thing again and again and expecting to get a different result. Actually, it wasn't until the 1980's that he was first connected to that saying, but it doesn't matter who actually said it, because these three scriptures seem to validate the saying.
Seven years ago, our family moved from southern Virginia to northeast Wisconsin. As you might expect, spring comes later here. Fall comes earlier. And winter is a much different experience in northeast Wisconsin than it was in southern Virginia. The same temperatures that seemed bone-chilling in Virginia are good reason to leave the mufflers and mittens at home in Wisconsin. Of course, many of the retired folks in my congregation here take their cue from the geese and fly south for the winter each year.