The Christ fills empty lives

Changing Neighborhood Affecting Your Church?

The Sunday edition of a large metropolitan newspaper recently carried a story on how churches in big cities can be affected as neighborhoods change. But is it really the changing neighborhood or is it our changing thought about our neighborhood that affects our churches? Is our primary need more members, or do we need more of the unselfed love Christ Jesus expressed?

In many cases where there is a changing neighborhood, perhaps we are reluctant to welcome newcomers to our church because they speak with a different accent or their skin is a different color. Or we may feel they are not on our social, economic, or intellectual level. Then we need to remember our church's mission.

The mission of The Mother Church and all its branches is to bring healing and enlightenment to humanity. If there seems to be a lack of members in our church, this may be a call for the members to embrace the community more through prayer, to love and welcome the stranger and not resent or fear him. Racial prejudice or ignorance springs from the belief that we are mortals living in a material universe among other mortals, some having a worthy and others an unworthy heritage. Such a belief denies the allness of God, good, and the spiritual perfection of His image, man. How could God's man be divided into races or classes?

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May 23, 1977

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