Our life within a congregation is but one of many moral and spiritual commitments we make. If we have only one commitment, we will end up being a closed-minded fanatic. These are the people who make the news.
But with us it is different. We have a commitment to our church but also to our community, our village, Sonoma County, the State of California. We have commitments to our jobs, families and other viewpoints, books, the Super Bowl, and foreign cultures.
These varied commitments balance each other and help us calm down, reconsider and stay open. We learn to see the world through many viewpoints, nearly all of them messy.
"Why can't some people listen to another point of view? How does someone become so rigid; so absolutely convinced they are right?"
Many congregations in America ask people to shut down their reasoning. Our little congregation is not like that. Give thanks that one part of our life -- our church -- creates one more place in our busy lives where we are protected from being single-minded zealots whose message is fear. I am grateful for a healthy congregation, and for you.