Friday, May 5, 2017

Whatever Happened to the Common Good?

Dear Friends,

Whatever happened to the common good?  The common good means to move beyond our private desires and sectarian passions to embrace and act on behalf of the well-being of all. The biblical scholar, Walter Brueggeman says “We have a crisis about the common good because there are powerful forces at work among us to resist the common good, to violate community solidarity, and to deny a common destiny.  Mature people, at their best, are people who are committed to the common good that reaches beyond private interest, transcends sectarian commitments and offers human solidarity.”

In our fast-paced world with its demands on our time and resources, work on behalf of the common good has been overtaken by personal anxiety about our individual futures, by the desire for personal gain, by concerns over scarcity, and by the fear of the unknown.

That phrase, “the common good,” has fallen out of use by individuals and societies. It’s time to study it, relearn its potential for good, go back to Jesus who is the first source of Christian thinking and action on behalf of the common good.

If you’ve been concerned about this topic, in even the most vague way, there’s good news. You are not alone. So consider this an invitation to spend a retreat day at our Motherhouse (150 French Road) on Saturday, May 20, 9 am to 3 pm (cost $30) probing the common good. In the morning, Rev. Myra Brown, Sister Beth LeValley and Rev. Deborah Fae Swift will share their understanding of the common good from a Christian perspective, in our families, our communities and our world today and suggest what’s needed to renew the common good a personal and collective goal.

After lunch, participants will consider how we raise our children and grandchildren to embrace the common good, how we engage those who are left out, how we can use our personal energies in causes and agencies to promote the common good, and more. The take home will be a renewed sense of the power of the community to uphold the common good as key to living together in our crowded world. Participants may even leave with renewed energy to do the work with others of making the common good actual in our times.

This program is a joint venture of Fresh Wind in our Sails with Atonement Lutheran Church – another is a series of programs commemorating the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther and his impact on the spiritual life of believers. Call me at 585.733.2555 or e-mail me at  for more information or to register.

Abundance is a gift of God. We have it. We will recognize it only when we share it.

~ Sister Joan Sobala