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I believe the future holds some changes.

I don't usually start a monthly newsletter with a joke. But I am in the mood to do things differently. Please oblige.

A drunk man who smelled of beer sat down on a subway next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket. He opened his newspaper and began reading.

After a few minutes, the man turned to the priest asked, "Say, Father, what causes arthritis?" The priest replies, "My son, it's caused by loose living, spending too much time with prostitutes, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man, and a lack of a bath." The drunk muttered in response, "Well, I'll be damned," then returned to his paper.

The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized, "I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?" The drunk answered, "I don't have it, Father, I was just reading here that the Pope does."

Pope Francis is a favorite of mine. In a recent Associated Press article, he blasted conservatives in the U.S. Catholic Church for having replaced authentic faith with a political ideology. This ideology believes only Christians should be citizens of this country or, said another way, only Christians can be "true Americans." I would be interested to know if any members of LCM have encountered this thinking. I think the Pope touched a nerve ending for me, maybe you too. This ideology distorts the gospel and the teachings of Jesus. It strikes me as quite dangerous. I am new to LCM and Northern Idaho. Is this ideology prevalent?

My visits with you in your homes have been enjoyable. I am learning of your capacity for laughter, your past moments of suffering and pain, and your ardent desire for LCM to have a future. I have described these visits as an opportunity "to turn over some new soil" by gathering up your hopes and moving forward with courage. I believe the future holds some changes. The extent of those changes I am of course uncertain.

Please continue to hold up your Call Committee in prayer.

Pastor Kirk Anderson


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