Turn to church

Next week may be the hardest; how do we cope? My advice: turn to church. I’m not denying any of the recent problems plaguing churches lately, or the flaws in their hierarchies. When we see apparently unrealistic rules, like “thou shalt not use birth control,” it’s easy to get discouraged. When we look around us often we see people who only care about themselves. We lose faith in the institutions, we lose faith in the people. But this isn’t how it has to be.

A church is a community that celebrates together what’s most important in life: birth, marriage, death, etc. Thoreau said, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately… and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” What things are most important? Are these our highest priorities? How do we experience them? A church is a community that celebrates together these things.

But that doesn’t mean people in a church are worth celebrating with. Why should we have faith in people at all? When we volunteer time, say, at Hope Haven, DeKalb’s homeless shelter, we find ourselves working with people who have dedicated their lives to helping others. “Everybody around me only cares for themselves,” I hear. Maybe, but where do we find “everybody”? Volunteer, just once, and find people who break this rule. Looking for faith in people? Check out the hungry, the homeless, the shut-ins, and find the ones that help them day-by-day. People can be worthwhile, and in a church we all come together.

Next week may be the hardest; we all could use a little help. There are many churches on and immediately off campus: the Newman Catholic Center, the Wesleyan Methodist Foundation, the Lutheran Center, to name a few. And if none of these are right, we can always simply be church for one another.

Jacob Heidenreich