One of the principles of the bikeable parish is to rely on existing networks and institutions to partner with rather than repeat or overlap. Example: we, Judson Church, partners with Bethlehem Lutheran for a program called Starfish Ministries to help those with immediate need. Bethlehem has a social worker on staff, the institutional heft Judson lacks, but a cooperative spirit. Even though the equation is tipped in the favor of Bethlehem, together we can do more than we could separate or alone. Thank you friend, thank you neighbor.
So here comes the thought for the week. After Ash Wednesday I saw several posts on twitter and then in the New York Times about the Anglican Church's call for a Plastic Free Lent. I thought this was a great idea, wish I had thought of it. But I didn't, and that's okay. I consider myself a fairly conscientious person who tries to reduce his use of plastics, but the Anglican call has made me realize how pervasive plastic is in my life. And how deliberate and intentional one has to be to try and rid oneself of plastic.
Example: yesterday I went to the local bread shop to purchase some potato rolls. I did not think to bring my own bag, so without thinking I went to grab a plastic bag for the rolls. But then I heard the voice of Justin Welby say, "oh no you don't". I scanned the display and discovered a paper bag for a loaf of French bread, which I used to place seven potato rolls (five for dinner and two for egg sandwiches the next morning). When I took the bag of rolls to the counter I announced that I had a bouquet of potato rolls, the clerk was not amused.
I am thankful the Anglicans brought this to my attention. I am thankful and trustful of friends to help me along. I think churches and houses of worship should try and trust more of their local congregations for activities like this. We don't have to do it all ourselves, its ridiculous to even try.
The Archbishop of Canterbury may not hold any sway on the state of my soul in eternity, but he is providing a good example for life here and now. Thank you friend, thank you neighbor.