A Word to Congregations

IMG_0933W. Frederick Wooden, senior pastor of theFountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the guest speaker at New Perspectives on Faith on Sunday Evening, February 10, 2013, at 7pm in the College Mennonite Church Fellowship Hall, Goshen, Indiana.  He spoke on “A Liberal Church in a Conservative City.”  

The Fountain Street Church belongs to no denomination, but promotes intellectual freedom with spiritual integrity and a commitment to serve others — especially the poor and the oppressed, and to work for a world of “liberty and justice for all.” Its current motto is “Free the mind. Grow the soul. Change the world.”

Wooden spoke interestingly, rapidly and with many stories. I want to listen to his speech again when it is posted on the New Perspective’s website. However, he said something which I think I remember well enough to report it.  When asked about his church’s membership guidelines he said, you may believe anything you want and be received as a member, but if you insult another member you are out.

It seems far from the Mennonite way, given our penchant to struggle over what to do with the Confession of Faith in the Anabaptist Way.  I’m not sure the way of the Fountain Street church should be recommended. But the Old Fool  notes it here, while lauding the decision of another large Mennonite congregation to declare its openness to receive persons of same sex orientation and practice.

I daily check the traffic report supplied by my webmaster. The Old Fool wishes that more subscribers would read his fantasy sermon and respond to it.  He is pleased with the popularity of Why he Calls himself The Old Fool and of My Faith Pilgrimage.  He is also pleased with the the popularity of the Biblical Interpretation category.

If you have friends who are congregational leaders consider calling The Old Fool and this post to their attention.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
This entry was posted in Biblical Interpretation, Church, Homosexuality, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.