In Your Hands
Renowned author Toni Morrison told the following parable in a lecture before the Swedish Academy:
An old blind woman lives on the town’s outskirts. Several children decide to fool her. One of them
says he has a bird in his hands and asks her to tell him if it is alive or dead. The woman is silent for a long time. Finally she announces, “I don’t know whether the bird you are holding is dead or alive, but what I do know is that it is in your hands. It is in your hands.”
In his book, Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach, Peter L. Steinke suggests that this parable can be applied to the church. He says that the question is not whether or not your congregation is dead or alive. The most important question is whether or not your congregation is in responsible and responsive hands. Although most of us may argue that it is important whether or not our congregation is dead or alive, Steinke’s primary point is that if a congregation is in responsible and responsive hands that it will indeed be alive. If a congregation is not in responsible and responsive hands then most likely it is dying a slow death.
The Green Church of the Brethren is in your hands, it is in our hands. Our congregation will exhibit life if we continue the work of Jesus in a responsible and accountable manner. Our congregation will exhibit life if we are responsive to the individual and collective needs of those who make up this congregation. Following Steinke’s advice, let us continue to work together to ensure that this congregation, Christ’s church, remains in responsible and responsive hands.