The current message series on Social Principles ends May 8th. Then the students go home, and we settle in for a quiet summer in Albion. It’s a good time to think about our town, as it’s going through some changes–a new hotel arriving, changing the character of downtown; a couple of major renovations on Superior Street, providing a place for the college to be part of our downtown; a new Taco Bell, and rumors of another new restaurant on the east side of town. All of this pales in comparison to the vote May 3rd about annexing the Albion Schools into the Marshall School District. No wonder we feel topsy-turvy these days! Here’s an outline of the series:
May 15 (Pentecost): Strengthening Families in Albion
Families have come in for much of the blame, as Albion schools have weakened. There are lots of reasons why, from mass incarceration that takes men out of the home, to the loss of jobs, to changes in culture generation by generation. What’s clear is that we have a duty to do what we can to strengthen and support families, helping them have the spiritual, education, social and economic resources to provide a safe and steady place for children.
May 22: A Deeper Diversity
We have not overcome the racial divisions that people protested about fifty years ago. The school issue has brought this back to the fore, and that’s good, if it causes us to move toward deeper healing and greater wisdom in Albion. And that’s not all. We still paper over the divisions between Christians, between rich and poor, and we still haven’t succeeded at proving that the church is good at welcoming people of all gender and sexual identities. How can we use the current moment to move forward?
May 29: Beyond Charity to Community
It’s one thing to give money to people in serious need. It makes us feel good, and Jesus told us to do it. But $100 here or there is not really fixing anything. People come to us for help because they are disconnected from the community, because the whole community suffers from that characteristic American problem of keeping separate from one another. How can we address that?
June 5: What a Church Can Do
I believe a church can do a lot. It is really easy to list the things we can’t do, but that doesn’t help anything. This church has a history of being active in the community. God is asking us to take it to the next level.