Mind Matters

by Rev. Robert H. Tucker

Number 258
August 25, 1997

A Less Forbidding Word


"The members of this church believe that faith is a journey
and that thinking is required."


That is part of what listeners to Houston public radio (KUHF) will be hearing. First Congregational is going public. Compared to some religious groups, our effort is timid, even restrained. But, for us, arriving at this point has been the result of a long, progressive journey.

First, we tiptoed into "Project Share." Now, years later, we are bold enough to step forward and use the word outright: evangelism. Project Share was an essential first step, giving us the knowledge that we did not have to think of evangelism as imposing ourselves on others by knocking on doors or passing out religious tracts. Sharing, not imposing, was the key. Tangibly, little happened, but the idea began to germinate and a conversion began.

Next, small actions took place: welcome letters were sent out ot new home owners, flyers appeared in area mailings, and now we're appearing on radio. Admittedly, that still is not face-to-face contact, but they are amazing acts, given our initial starting point.

The idea, the act, and now the passion. The process of conversion will be complete when the inner passion people feel for First Congregational is expressed verbally to others. Good news--whether of a superb restaurant, a new baby, or a church home--needs to be shared, and many people need the good news of this church.

Remember how surprised you were when that 'happy' couple announced their divorce, or that 'successful' person was out of work, or that 'regular' neighbor was arrested for a crime? We are bewildered, because others successfully hide their deep pain, just as we do. Thus, sharing this community with others, introducing them to a place where they can engage their minds and spirits, and providing them with opportunities to reach out to others with compassion can immeasurably help individuals, even when outwardly such an invitation seems unnecessary. Given the turmoil in people's lives and in society, many people need our good news.

Passion will come, as has learning to use the word evangelism and being on the public radio. Like the once Forbidden City, evangelism is now open to us, and the good news is to be shared.

--Robert H. Tucker
25 August 1997

© Robert H. Tucker, 1997.
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