Common Ground

The first Sunday of New Year I couldn’t wait
For my favorite pew … where I’m never late.
Bulletin, Bible held tight in right hand,
I marched down the aisle to my holy stand.
When to my shock, he sat there in my place,
That Mr. Oink, by himself, such a disgrace!
Oh, that Oink is so clever, a man of two faces;
He got there quite early and took up two spaces.
Wheeling around I marched even closer.
I’d show that old Oink who’s the real loser.
But the two rows ahead fueled my dark fear,
All filled with the Yuffies, their grandma so dear
Why they can’t sit there, I started to sob.
They’ve lost their house. They don’t have a job.
I give every week. My name’s on the check.
Come Monday morning, I’ll give Pastor heck!
Oh, this is too much! ... It's making me pout.
This Happy New Year is turning about.
The whole place is filled with the Grumpies and Woopies,
The Rappies, and Opals and even … The Posties!
Dragging my feet to the back row I did muster.
One final seat left next to young  … Buster.
Age 14 and pimpled, our church not the same.
Forced to hear a sermon and video game.
Our pastor he preached, that Rev. Gold Collar.
He poked and he prodded just short of a holler,
“In spite all the odd folk  who ‘round us surround,
In Christ, it is true ... We find common ground.”*

- Pastor Jim - written in the midst of a busy Holiday season.
Shared in a sermon as Executive Pastor of The Church at Litchfield Park (circa 2012).

* Each of the families and characters of are marketing acronyms that describe different social tribes in the U.S.  Oinks- “One Income No Kids;”  Grumpies- “Grim Ruthless Urban Professional;” Suppie– “Senior Urban Professional;” Rappies – “Retired Affluent Professionals”(often retired “Suppies”); “Opal – Older People Active Lifestyle;” Buster – “Twenty-SomethingYear Old’s” aka “Posties;” Yuffie – “Young Urban Failure;”  Woopie – “Well Off Older People.”

In seminary they never told us about some of the ministry projects in which we would be involved. Following a sermon on the making our campus more accommodating to the disabled , the The Church at Litchfield Park immediately funded the Restroom Renovation Project. Alberto, our Building Manager, was the most multi-gifted person with whom I ever served (see link for story and photo below). I guess you could say my ministry was a “great relief” to many ;o)