Sundaes on a Sunday

By Roy Schaefer of Independence, Missouri, USA

And you will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.  Mosiah 2:24, adapted

The Schaefer family has attended one congregation since 1942. I was 11 years old and was placed in a junior boys’ class that met in the sanctuary balcony. After some rowdy behavior by the students, the church school director had difficulty finding a teacher. To his surprise, a young couple, the McCormicks, volunteered.

While most of us don’t remember much of what the class studied, we do remember the sense of community. Several of these young men became my closest friends throughout school and college.

The McCormicks took us on several overnight retreats at a park. They regularly invited us to their home, where they made the most-scrumptious sundaes ever.

On reflection, they helped each of us feel they loved us and were happy to share with us as a part of their family.

For years after, several of these young men treasured the friendship and kindness shared by this lovely couple who taught us by who they were rather than by what was in the book. That is our calling in congregations—to build signal communities centered in Christ, who supports everyone equally.

Prayer for Peace:

Compass God, we are thankful for the people who have guided our lives. We are thankful for those who affirm us in our spiritual growth. We thank you for patient peacemakers.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Welcoming Unity in Diversity

Each day this week meditate on unity in diversity. Prayerfully read Doctrine and Covenants 163:8c, which calls “the entire church to become a sanctuary of Christ’s peace, where people from all nations, ethnicities, and life circumstances can be gathered into a spiritual home without dividing walls.”

Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle. Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “dangerous” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep you and others from being one in Christ’s peace.

Peace Covenant:

As I have received direction from others, God, I lovingly will guide someone who is wandering from you.

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