A Critical Mass

Joe bockCitizens living in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District will have the opportunity to vote for Joe Bock, a member of the Notre Dame faculty, to represent them in the U.S. Congress.

Yesterday, Tuesday August 19, 2014 the Old Fool listened to Joe Bock speak to the Samhedrin, an informal group of mostly retired Mennonite professionals. Joe Bock connects well with Mennonites. As a member of the Catholic Relief Services he met Mennonites who served with Mennonite Central Committee, Christian Peacemaker Teams, and was recruited to be a substitute teacher of the Eastern Mennonite University faculty.

Having lived in Asia and the Middle East, and directed relief programs in Africa, Bock has an international perspective. His wife is a member of the Kern Road Mennonite Church and he attends services with her frequently. He said that he considers himself an associate Mennonite. Joe Bock is a democrat, but in my judgment he is not an ordinary democrat. Learn more about Bock here.

Joe Bock’s opponent began airing commercials on TV several weeks ago. He assured the Samhedrin that he would begin his ads on TV this week. This morning when I turned to the Today Show I saw his first commercial. You can see the youtube version here.

critical massJoe Bock’s political campaign hopes that sometime between now and election day on November 4, his support will achieve a critical mass, a sociological term heard sometimes at the Samhedrin.

The term may be used to describe the moment that a campaign reaches the tipping point in favor of one candidate or the other. Both Bock and his opponent will campaign tirelessly until the election declares a winner.

Critical mass may also be used to describe the moment when one side or the other wins the contest in the church over same sex marriage. But should not political campaigns and contests in the church be widely different? A contest in the church should not be based on money or personal attacks and misinformation, but on conversation, humility and mutual love.

healingAccording to his limited experiences, the Old Fool believes that the denomination will experience healing and hope when conferences respect the authority of other conferences, when congregations respect each others decisions, when members respect the Spirit’s work in the lives of other members and when love is all around. We should understand that unity promotes the mission of Christ through the church..


About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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1 Response to A Critical Mass

  1. Connie F. Stauffer says:

    Hello Cousin Martin (Old Fool)

    Wow, I really liked your last paragraph! The way of peace, love and mutual respect
    is the way forward for Mennonite Church USA. After attending a meeting regarding
    a touchy issue some years ago, a person in leadership remarked afterwards, “That was
    simply a political containment meeting.” I felt very sad. The body of believers does not involve itself in “political containment” in order to preserve ego, power, control and the need to determine outcome regarding issues. Neither should we practice violence by “hitting each other the head ” with out of context Biblical texts.

    Thanks for entertaining my opinions and God be with you and yours! I love your
    thought filled discourses!

    Cousin Connie

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