Word of the Month


June 2017

Differences among human beings can be very enriching and fruitful. The diversity arising from the various characters, gifts and talents, and life experiences can bring delight and help us expand our horizons. 

However, otherness can also be perceived as an imposition on ourselves. We must come to terms with this, accept differences, tolerate tensions, call familiar conventions into question, and seek common ground. This demands strength, effort, and commitment. And one can never rule out the possibility that such differences might lead to conflicts. Today many people see the solution in distancing themselves from “otherness”, and where possible, even keeping a distance from others themselves: segregation instead of community, isolation instead of openness. Best to just keep to yourself—then you will have your peace…

But congregations only function as communities. This is at times associated with certain impositions for some, but withdrawing from the community is not the solution. It is only in this fellowship that I can experience the wealth of faith and the power of love, it is only there that I can catch a glimpse of the greater whole. Then I will not fall into the danger of seeing myself as the centre of the world—or the church. It is only in fellowship and community that we can experience the contagious joy that comes into being when we praise God together and give Him the glory. And it is only in fellowship that I can attain perfection. I will never manage this alone.

Food for thought from a divine service by the Chief Apostle