Meeting Times at 4th United Presbyterian Church

Cafe' Worship: 9:15 a.m. each Sunday in Gathering Hall (activities provided for children; coffee; snacks)
Adult Sunday School: 10 a.m.

Sunday Worship: 11 a.m.

Bible Study: each Thursday at 6 p.m.

Community Forum: last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. with meal (no community forum in November, 2011)

About the 4th United Presbyterian Bible Blog

Posts on this blog are from me, Rev. George H. Waters, one of the two organizing co-pastors of 4th United Presbyterian Church. Our other organizing pastor was Rev. Sonya McAuley-Allen, who is now pastor of a church in Charlotte, N.C. Since June of 2011, Rev. Elizabeth Peterson has been our parish associate pastor for new church development. The earliest posts are sermon notes from the few I have typed the last two years. Then, there is a series of notes posted on the book of Romans. After that, it varies from week to week, sometimes church news, sometimes reflections on a happening, a passage of scripture, or even some pictures. This blog is meant to open the conversation we have going on in our church to others in our community.

The picture below is of our church's sanctuary, built in 1913.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Meditation on Sharing Responsibility from “Deep is the Hunger,” by Howard Thurman

“It is a great temptation to try to escape responsibility not only for one’s own actions but also for one’s own privileges. Responsibility means, essentially, standing up to be counted. It means the ability to look things squarely in the face and pay the price for what one does.

"In a family of children, there are usually at least two types represented. There is the child who always says, “I didn’t do it,” or “Betty made me do it, so it is really not my fault,” or “I wasn’t thinking when I did it. I am sorry.” Such expressions become a substitute for facing the consequences of one’s deeds. It is an easy settlement of one’s personal account by deferring to someone else. Such children usually grow up to become adults who increase the tasks and the work of all with whom they come into contact. When they marry, the wife or husband is always to blame for whatever happens. The net result is a quality of self-righteousness, a “King-can-do-no-wrong” aroma, which makes life difficult for those who must bear the burden of enduring it.

“The other type of child is one who is ever eager to take on more than his responsibility, particularly more of the blame, than he should. This means two things: (1) Other children easily learn to exploit and abuse him, because their weakness is aided and contributed to by the willing burden-bearer. (2) The sense of being a martyr becomes acute. This is self-righteousness in reverse.

“Of course there is a place in the world of weakness and temptation to come to the rescue, to take on responsibilities equal to one’s strength, to make life a bit easier for the over-taxed and depressed. Such zeal must not perpetuate weakness and turn into permanent cripples those who might find their own feet and strength by being compelled to stand up in their own right and be counted for what they do.”

-Deep is the Hunger: Meditations for Apostles of Sensitiveness, Howard Thurman (Harper & Bros, N.Y: 1951), pp. 127-28.

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