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~ a column from our Minister,
The Requiem Concert on Sunday, November 6 and our Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday, November 20, are two great ways of celebrating our 60th Anniversary this month. I hope you invite family and friends.
Lyrics. The fourth most popular song in America today is Pumped Up Kicks by the group Foster the People. And, yes, your kids are probably listening to it.
“All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you’d better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet.”
With its catchy beat and lyric, the song describes a loner, a kid who finds in his dad’s closet a revolver and decides to take it to school. Is he an object of bullying? The song doesn’t say. But this song is but another window into the world of our culture, the one our youth have inherited. I would argue they did not create these coarser times. I frequently ask parents about their concerns and fears. I think their lists are longer than the list of those parents I first met when I entered the ministry. Still, we are trying to make this a better world. Parents connect with parents here in the village. An hour each week at church, I firmly believe, can make a positive difference. Your monthly Branches meeting is, likewise, sacred meeting time.
More Lyrics. At the Jazz Worship Services in September, I offered my revised lyrics to That’s All, with apologies to the original lyricist/composer, Alan Brandt and Bob Haymes:
“We know life is short and things don’t last for forever
And with each day-break, there comes along night-fall.
Let us stay aware and live, and to others fully give,
That's all, that's all.
We might lend an ear or help someone in friendship.
And insist that when they’re troubled, they should call.
You see, a tiny caring light still warms a lonely night.
That's all, that's all.
There are those, I am sure, who have told you,
That most love is short-lived, and-a-toy,
But a cynic is hardly an expert,
Hope and love, time can never destroy.
If you're wondering what I'm asking here this morning,
You'll be glad to know that my demands are small.
Keep a Chalice burning bright, care for people left ‘n right.
That's all, that's all.”
Disappointed is only one word for my feeling when I learned that CBS 60 Minutes challenged author Greg Mortenson on the truthfulness of his stories as he recounted them in Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools, a topic of my sermon preached here in March of 2010. I took his personal Afghanistan stories to be factual. Now, there is doubt. I am waiting for the author to address his readers and answer the charges against him. If you purchased a Mortenson book, as I did, you may be given an opportunity to join a class action suit.
This Green Card I distributed to the youth last month for their wallets, bookbags, or refrigerator doors: “Keep it real. Stay green. Drop the mask of fear. Be yourself with people, yes. But always be your-self to yourself. No one gets a grade in being human. We all get incompletes throughout our lives. So, stay green and keep it real.” (s. j. crump)