Churchyard’s rocket ship: Exploration, not aggression

To the editor:

Several days ago I received an anonymous message on my answering machine regarding the large model rocket ship on the front lawn of the church.  The caller stated that, given the state of affairs in which we find the world and the number of rockets that are pointed at and fired at other nations (in particular at Israel), having a rocket on our front lawn of the church was in bad taste.  The caller also made a point to say that several people had expressed that same opinion.

Given the fact that the call was anonymous, this is the only course I can follow in order to respond.Certainly the members and participants of Old Stone Church and I are opposed to and appalled by the violence that has become so commonplace in our world. But at the same time, I am flabbergasted that anyone would make such an association.

Rocket ships are also symbols of exploration and adventure. They take people, either directly or by sophisticated technology, to places where no one has ever been before.  They capture our imagination and pique our curiosity.

Space exploration is also the theme of our upcoming Vacation Bible School program, Blast Off. The rocket ship theme invites children into an adventure with God’s truth and encourages them to explore God’s love, especially as it has been shown through His Son, Jesus.  That is the extent of the meaning behind the model rocket, and nothing else.

The goal of Old Stone Church is to invite members of the wider community into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  We understand that this is not a popular belief, nor is it always considered “politically correct.”  But we have found that this message has both Biblical and historic integrity, and it leads to a powerful experience with God.

We at Old Stone Church encourage people to have open and respectful dialogue on subjects.  We hear much about the advantages of understanding people who are different from us and being tolerant of those differences.  And most people have experienced the frustration and hurt when others have misunderstood something that was said or something that was done, and no one made an effort to understand what was really meant.

Understanding takes a lot of effort, because sometimes others are hard to understand.  It takes conscientious and active listening.  And understanding someone does not necessarily mean we will agree with them.  We can disagree but still find ways to show respect.

Respectfully submitted

Rev. Patrick Crough

Pastor, First Baptist“Old Stone” Church

Tiverton

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