Category Archives: Quotes

Open Circle

Lonely girl

I am rereading one of my favorite novels — listening to an audio-book, actually. It is entitled Jayber Crow – The life story of Jayber Crow, Barber, of the Port William membership, as written by himself.

This excerpt is part of a description of the narrator’s life in an orphanage called The Good Shepherd. It seems that many church experiences resemble an orphanage more than they do a family. In any case, I found these paragraphs moving, and applicable to the world of the small group fellowships of which we are a part, if not church communities wherever they are found.

I remember a little girl … who came to The Good Shepherd when she was about seven years old. She was a slight, brown-haired, sad-looking, lonesome-looking girl whose clothes did not fit. She looked accidental or unexpected, and seemed to be without expectation, and resigned, and so quiet that even in my selfishness I wished I knew of a way to help her. I watched her all the time. When her class went out to play, she did not take part but only stood back and watched the other girls. She always wore a dress that sagged, and brown cotton stockings that were always wrinkled. She was waiting. I did not understand that she was waiting, but she was. And then one day as her classmates were joining hands to play some sort of game, one of the girls broke the circle. She held out her hand to the newcomer to beckon her in. And E. Lawler ran into the circle and joined hands with the others.

 ~Jayber Crow. By Wendell Berry. Chapter 4. 

The Community of the Table

Consider…the Lord’s Supper. There is not the slightest doubt that the early Christians celebrated it while sitting (or reclining) around tables. The Eucharist itself was part of a real supper, a full meal, love feast or agape; meal. These were caravaners gathered as the community of the Lord, celebrating that community, and demonstrating community. The service took place while looking in the eye a brother or sister you knew by name (and more than just by name), breaking bread with him or her, and even exchanging the holy kiss.

~Vernard Eller (The Outward Bound)

Quote: Church Marketing

Dr. John Hardin, a historian of business and religion in America, told The Christian Post that church marketing not only changes how people relate, or who a church is bringing in, but it also shifts the authority from producer to consumer. “Instead of looking to sacred texts and traditions to shape their doctrine and services, churches rely on the preferences of potential customers,”