Freda commented that my blogs are upbeat. I’m glad she feels that way. Some years ago I decided if a sermon didn’t have good news in it, it shouldn’t be preached.
Sam Hedrin is the informal meeting of retired professionals who generated the letter published in the November issue of The Mennonite. The letter heading was “Allow Congregations to Innovate” and it was signed by thirty-two persons. As I entered the meeting place a friend asked me if I had seen any omens along the way. He had read The Alchemist and must understand omens. An omen is a sign of progress while on a quest for one’s treasure My friend’s question seemed to me to be an omen, as did the meeting that followed.
Sam Hedrin welcomed two guests from Eastern Mennonite University. One was the head of EMU’s development team and the second was a Jewish Rabbi who is on EMU’s faculty and has recently joined the development team.
They told us that EMU is developing a Center for Interfaith Studies. The Rabbi and a Muslim Imam are members of that significant development at EMU. The dreams for the center go far beyond the limits of this blog.
The Rabbi told me that when he reads of the virgin birth and other miracles they don’t mean any thing to him. But when he reads about what Jesus did and taught he says to himself “he seems like a really nice guy.”
At home, I was handed a letter from my oldest living cousin, Paul H. Martin who lives at Landis Homes in Pennsylvania. I was unaware that he was at Landis Homes when My Joy and I visited there. His letter became the third omen of the day. Paul reported that their son Ed Martin is the head of the inter-religion department (Christanity, Judaism and Muslim) department. Ed qualifies because he spent 18 years in South and Southeast Asia and made friends with government people especially in Iran.
This noon I went to CMC Men’s Fellowship and heard the story of a man who had gone to a seminary in India. He became acquainted with Buddhists. The inter-faith conversation continued from the meeting of the Sam Hedrim on the forenoon of one day to the noon meeting of Men’s Fellowship on the next day. Another omen of conversations to come? I will continue to look for signs of coming peace among churches, religions and tribes.