There’s No Business Like Church Business

Minutes of the church business meeting held Wednesday evening after prayer meeting. Mr. Jenkins came in from the boiler room, and Mrs. Huggins from the kitchen, to make up a quorum. Previous minutes read and approved. No old business.

New business: report of the CE Committee (Church Envelope Committee). Chaired by Brother Frokish, this committee has been hard at work for three years, trying to develop our church envelope and registration system. Mr. Frokish reported as follows:

“After three years of hard work, we have developed what we feel is a fool-proof system for church envelopes and registration cards. This system will make it much easier for Mrs. Dumus, our part-time church secretary.

“The system is very simple. Everything is color coded. Registration cards for members will be white, and for visitors they will be light blue. We have seven regular attending nonmembers, so we will have a pink card for them. Mrs. Dumus can tell at a glance where each registration card goes in the file.

“Now, the offering envelopes are also color coded. Envelopes for the regular church budget will be light green. Building fund envelopes are violet, and special offering envelopes—such as for the memorial bird bath—are yellow.

“But the best thing is this: when these colored cards and envelopes are all arranged in the special rack Mr. Jenkins designed, they look just like a rainbow.”

A short discussion followed. Brother Simpson moved that the regular budget envelopes be colored red, but there was no second. Sister Enright suggested that we change the motto of the church from “The end of your search for a friendly church” to “The church of the rainbow.” She also suggested that Mr. Jenkins paint a beautiful rainbow over the pulpit. One of the teen-agers suggested that the center aisle be painted like a yellow-brick road, but this was rejected. Finally, following further discussion, Brother Tacket moved, and Mrs. Enright seconded, that the system be adopted.

Second item of new business: our part-time church secretary, Mrs. Bessie Dumus, tendered her resignation, which was regretfully accepted. She will not be able to manage the new color-coded system inasmuch as she is colorblind.

Respectfully submitted,


Touch of Grace

Thanks for a thoughtful evaluation of Sartre (“Jean-Paul Sartre and His Problem with God,” Editorials, May 23). The evangelical camp usually writes him off as surlily and disgustingly as it can. He had to have something to make the impression he did and a kind note of yours to such a theological rascal is an unusual touch of grace.

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Professor of Christian Theology

America Baptist Seminary of the West

Berkeley, Calif.

Thinking about Thinking

Mark Noll’s article (“Who Sets the Stage for Understanding Scripture?” May 23) is an example of the kind of thinking that needs to be translated into ministry. He has fingered out the “sand” in our eyes regarding biblical interpretation.

Those of us in Christian leadership are largely responsible for the way our people read and use their Bibles. If our people believe a thing is biblical simply because it is footnoted with a list of verses, have we taught them by thoughtless, rapid-fire text-hurling? Have we neglected to explain in our sermons why we are turning to such-and-such a passage for support? Do we run roughshod over the uniqueness of the Spirit-moved authors and “Osterize” what they had intended to say to their first hearers? If our people can’t tell John from Paul, maybe we have.

Helping people to think about their thinking and their interpreting of Scripture is a valid task of Christian ministry. Let’s allow our people to see a better job of interpreting in us.


Minister of C.E. and Youth

First Baptist Church

S. Weymouth, Mass.

RLDS Church

As a former member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (and now a Christian), I was surprised at the inaccuracies in your news report (“The Un-Mormons Also Celebrate,” by Tim Miller, May 23):

1. The founder’s son was Joseph Smith III; the founder was Joseph Smith, Jr.

2. The “reorganization” took place when the remnant who did not follow Brigham Young invited Joseph Smith III to lead the church and take his position as their prophet.

3. There is only one place where the Independence Temple may be built, and that plot of ground is not owned by the RLDS church, but by the Church of Christ. Temple Lot (the Hendrickites), who have no intention of selling. (Rumor has it that the LDS church from Utah has offered the Hendrickites $5 million for the property.) The RLDS church headquarters is located across the street, and the LDS church has a large Visitor’s Center a block away, but the exact site designated by Joseph Smith, Jr., is in the hands of a Mormon splinter group.

Thank you for covering this story, and I hope to see further articles on this little-known group in the future.


Chicago, Ill.

Dear Eutychus:

I have been enjoying your magazine very much of late. There is no doubt in my mind that you are the best in a long line that leads the “kin.” Keep up the good work.

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Goodwill Presbyterian Church

Montgomery, N.Y.

In your column on May 23 on The Lord of the Rings (“Too Much Middle Earth?”), I am sure you did not mean that no books are worth reading more than once, but you came awfully close to implying it.

1 know of no other work that is currently popular which makes a more valuable statement on mankind’s situation and which shows that unselfishness and the grace of God are the only solutions. I think that such a message bears repetition. In fact, our culture needs to be inundated with it (since it generally does not turn to Scripture).

Honestly, I have been meaning to write you on another matter, so your timing was excellent. I have appreciated your work immensely. In my three years of reading CT, your work as Eutychus X has definitely been the best. Thank you very much for sharing your wit and giving me joy.


Lombard, III.

Family Affair

John Maust’s news article about the White House Conference on Families (“The White House Feud on the Family,” May 2) was interesting and informative.

I laughed aloud, though, upon reading about Jim Guy Tucker’s belief that “unfounded fears” existed in the Christian community about the WHCF.

I have compared the WHCF guidelines for delegate selection with delegate selection criteria of the 1970-era White House Conferences on Children and Youth. They were amazingly similar. On reading through the Reports to the President from these two earlier conferences, I found that their “majority” opinions on controversial questions were consistently in conflict with biblical perspectives and consistently out of step with 1970 mainstream America (often 1980 mainstream America too).

If CHRISTIANITY TODAY does a follow-up article on the WHCF, please ask Mr. Tucker to document a few of those “unfounded fears” to demonstrate that they are unfounded.


Huntington, W.Va.


In Ronald Nash’s book review entitled “An Evangelical Heavyweight” (June 6), David Wilkerson was inadvertently identified with the Melodyland School of Theology. He is an author, evangelist, and founder of Teen Challenge.

The photograph of Elton Trueblood on page 20 of the May 23 issue was taken by John B. Bill.

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