When Occupy Wall Street began, Wall Street executives smirked from their lofty windows. Then they dismissed the protesters as uninformed, naïve and fringe. Now they are whining, because protesters turn out to be highly informed, knowing exactly what Wall Street has done to the American economy and political system.

Next will come bluster and scheming with friendly politicians to whom they are channeling vast campaign contributions.

They don’t get it. They think they are up against a somewhat unsuccessful version of themselves: people motivated by greed. They see protesters as wishing they had what the mega-wealthy have but not willing to work for it.

They are dead wrong. Politicians want what the wealthy have, but Occupy Wall Street folks want a better America.

As far as I can discern, they aren’t anti-business or anti-capitalism. They have spent their lives preparing for the system in place. They just want it to work in a more equitable, just way, to benefit all citizens and not just a tiny fraction whose interests aren’t remotely aligned with the economy’s interests or the nation’s.



FAITH Q & A

Q: Why do you believe a mainline church led by a minister trained in a specific dogma in a seminary is a good place to find and to know God?

A: Your question assumes I do believe as you describe. Rather than debate your wording of what I might believe, let me speak for myself.

I think congregations need strong, assertive clergy who understand organizational development, marketing, group formation, reaching new constituencies, leveraging technology, dealing with constant resistance and conflict, and leading people to transformation of life through faith and mission.

What congregations don’t need are passive, people-pleasing clergy who see themselves as hosts waiting for people to walk through the door, who serve an in-crowd and do their bidding, avoid change and conflict, and seek to keep the doors open at all cost.

In my opinion, people don’t come to church to find God. God finds them in the world, and they experience themselves being found. That experience drives them to the faith community, whether for Sunday worship, a midweek fellowship, a small group, or a mission team. They don’t come for bickering, tradition, symbolic gestures or soothing rituals. They come hungry, yearning, touched by God and looking for ways to respond to that touch.

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