330-425-7377
10285 Ravenna Road – Twinsburg Ohio 44087

FROM THE PASTOR – SEPTEMBER 2021

A Church Divided

You may have heard Jesus’ saying in Matthew 12:25: “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.”

This was true 2,000 years ago. And this remains true today.

 

CtK is a divided congregation.

 

Not because people don’t always agree. Not because there are different ideas and opinions.

 

CtK is divided because of how the people of CtK are treating one another.

 

You may not like this. These words may be hard to read. You may feel heartbroken, nauseous, or like you just got sucker punched in the gut. I know. I feel this every day.

 

I am watching beautiful, gifted, good-hearted, well-intentioned, perfectly-made Children of God harm themselves and one another. To say this is painful is a huge understatement.

 

The GOOD NEWS: there is another Way! The Way of Love!

 

CtK has the potential to be a community of Love, where every living being is fully seen and fully loved! Where all are truly welcome! Where everyone is honored for who they are! Where Love is the rule, the only rule, and everything is done from a place of Love, in order to Love!

 

HOW?!?

 

Love begins within us, in this moment.

Breathing in and out Love.

Loving ourselves.

No judgment.                          Accepting and Loving ourselves just as we are.

Every part of us, including our imperfections.

Loving even our imperfections, because they are part of our perfection.

 

From here, we practice showing up and doing the work.

Showing up in this moment

And showing up in this moment

And showing up in this moment

Trying, doing our best to respond with Love in this moment

and in this moment

And when we fall short,

taking the next breath in the next moment

AND TRYING AGAIN

TO RESPOND with LOVE.                            … again

and again

and again…

 

This is the Way of Love, and it guides us as we face some of the causes of our divideness.

 

  1. Rumors/misinformation
    1. Any time a person talks about someone else, and/or speaks on another person’s behalf, what is being said is not of Love & Truth.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS:

  • Talk TO one another, instead of ABOUT one another.
  • SHARE your own feelings and thoughts without IMPOSING them on others.
  • LISTEN to others’ feelings and thoughts without JUDGING or CONTROLLING, instead ACCEPTING and listening to UNDERSTAND.
  • TRANSPARENCY instead of SHADOWS – everything out in the OPEN.

Speak to one another from a place of Love, only saying to one person such things that you are okay if every person hears them.

 

  1. Control issues
    1. We have control over one thing: ourselves, and our thoughts, words, and actions.
    2. Control issues arise when an individual and/or group imposes their understanding of ‘how things are supposed to be’ on the whole CtK congregation.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS:

  • COOPERATION instead of COMPETITION
    • Working TOGETHER instead of AGAINST one another
    • VALUING what every person has to offer
  • Seeking a THIRD WAY instead of MY WAY
    • How can we make decisions and find solutions that incorporate as many different perspectives, opinions, and ideas as possible, instead of arguing and fighting for whose way wins?
  • EVERYTHING ISN’T PERSONAL
    • Recognize that whenever another speaks, they are revealing and communicating something about themselves, not you!
    • Instead of taking it personally, we can see past the surface and LOVE the human being trying to express something of herself or himself!
    • We can separate the PERSON from the BEHAVIOR.

(We may not like the behavior, but we can still LOVE the person.)

  • We can ACCEPT and LOVE and UNDERSTAND the person, and hold her/him ACCOUNTABLE for words and actions, instead of JUDGING and CONDEMNING and CONTROLLING.

 

My prayer for this Beloved CtK Community and each of you Beloved Children of God is the following:

God of Love, you see every part of us, perfectly made in your image, our imperfections part of our perfection! And you Love us just as we are! Give us Grace to see and Love ourselves as you do, the Courage to take responsibility for our thoughts, words, and actions, and the Wisdom to let the rest go, trusting that your Love is present and working things for Good for the earth and all her inhabitants, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. May it be so! Amen!

 

This doesn’t have to remain CtK’s story: A Church Divided.

 

You all have the power to re-write the story, to heal and reconcile and make amends, to turn and re-turn to the Way of Love, beginning right here, right now, in this moment!

 

What’s it going to be???

 

What’s the future headline?? A Church Divided . . .

OR

 

A Community of LOVE Transformed, Healed, United, Re-Formed

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