If you are a, Baby Boomer, as I am, you will remember the cloak room in your first grade classroom?
When I began first grade at Hillcrest Grade school, in Eldorado, Illinois, I took my seat the first morning and noticed a fellow classmate come in and sit down, still wearing his cap.
Our teacher said, ‘Jackie, take off your cap and place it in the cloak room.’
Now, I had never heard of a cloak room, being from Chicago, and I was intrigued with what was in the, mysterious, space?
When I examined the, special room, I observed a series of hooks attached to the walls and shelves over the hooks. I was a room for, sundry, hats and coats and, in the winter months, rubber galoshes.
So, yesterday we enjoyed a lovely, potluck, dinner with our church family.
The purpose of the event was, following, a special program of the singing of Spirituals, and before the installation and ordination deacons and elders, that had been chosen by the Nominating committee that represents, both, our congregation and the two boards of the local Presbyterian church, the Session, made up of elders, and the Deacons.
As I sat and listened to the beautiful singing and enjoyed the delicious meal, with the entire Brooks family present, I was struck with the comfortable covering of being with a group of believers that are inclusive and loving to all members of the human family!
From my first association with Presbyterians, I noticed that they are doers rather than talkers!
Have you ever been encountered by an individual who, actively and authoritatively, shoves their brand of Christianity…down your throat?
Are you a member of a church that is determined that you follow a, heavy, book of rules that are centered around a charismatic leader?
We live in a lonely world. Are we looking for someone to tell us that they love us…or are we seeking for fellow humans that, demonstrate, the love of Christ?
As I listened to the various elders speak about their ministry, during the congregational meeting, I saw the beauty of being a member of a faith family that does not judge…but accepts and loves all of God’s children that he brings to them.
We all carry a monkey on our back!
Over 20 years ago when our family joined the First Presbyterian Church, I wondered if I would be accepted since I had not been born into the denomination?
I had to overcome the pre-conceived ideas that I had about the group and ignore the myths…that I had been taught.
What I discovered was a welcoming and friendly church family!
I enjoy being in the background…and, virtually, invisible…as I am a bit of an introvert.
I served as a Trustee, soon after we became church members. About ten years later, I was asked to serve on the Session.
I told myself, after the last three year term…I had done my part.
But, Presbyterians…are such workers!
I must offer my, meager, services…one more time…God has been too good to my family…for me to not try to help…a little.
Faith is a cloak that is meant to wear for a lifetime…and eternity!
I do not think of how I can impress those who I meet…that I am a Christian.
More often than not…I do not think about the commitment….I endeavor to treat those who I meet…as I want to be treated.
‘But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them, which despitefully use you, and persecute you.’ Matthew 5:44 KJV
‘Love Thy Neighbor’
‘Thy Homeless Neighbor’
‘Thy Muslim Neighbor’
‘Thy Black Neighbor’
‘Thy Gay Neighbor’
‘Thy White Neighbor’
‘Thy Jewish Neighbor’
‘Thy Transgender Neighbor’
‘Thy Christian Neighbor’
‘Thy Atheist Neighbor’
‘Thy Racist Neighbor’
‘Thy Addicted Neighbor’