The Two Elephants in the Room
We were taught when we were young to never discuss money or politics with strangers, or with anyone outside our immediate family. Discussing these two subjects is often impossible even within a family. The risks are high that someone will be hurt, or become angry, or bring stress into the family. Of all the subjects in the world we most avoid talking about is our net worth or checkbook balance, and, presidential politics in an election year.
When we become part of a congregation, we learn slowly to trust each other with private information. We don't share it with the whole church, but with one or two trusted friends, we may take the chance to lay it all out.
Privacy about money and politics is essential if we are to get along with each other. These two subjects are deeply held. They reveal our most private values and beliefs. Talking about other subjects is easy compared to these.
We get close to these two subjects when we talk about values -- those things which are very important to us. Values are something we can and do talk about, and that is essential in a congregation.
Since I'm basically a Conservative, I look to the Bible (all of it, not just one verse) and the words of Jesus (all of them taken together) as the source of my values. Of course, I fail daily to live up the values I believe in, as do you, but I am grateful that at least I have some, and know where they come from -- a reliable source of truth, justice and hope for a few thousand years. Good enough for me.
Bless you all,