Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

Check out our blog at Central Baptist Life
Where Everyone Knows Your Name

                                                                    
 September 20, 2017
Dear Friends,

I thought I was being punked.  I walked into a McDonalds and was whisked into a
scene from the future.  A pleasant young lady directed me to a kiosk where she introduced
me to the computerized ordering system.  She demonstrated how it worked and gave me
a ticket.

Everything was shiny and new.  There was a space age look to the place.  I took my ticket
to the window and picked up my frozen treat, a delicious ice milk cone.  As I walked away
I turned back and looked for the hidden camera.  There wasn't one.  This was the real deal.

It struck me that it wouldn't be long before I walked into that same restaurant and could
place an order and pick up a meal without having to interact with a single person.  I shook
my head as I realized I was looking at what writer Alvin Toeffler called "future shock."

In the early 1970's his book was titled, Future Shock.  The phrase described the social
paralysis that would arise from technological changes he saw coming.  He argued that
society was entering a period of rapid change that would be too much for people to absorb.

Toeffler also suggested that people and relationships would become disposable.  Do you
remember the show, Cheers?  It was about a pub where "everyone knows your name."  
It aired in the early 1980's and was one of the most popular television series of all time.

The show struck a chord with its audience. It spoke against Toeffler's vision. The truth is
that our hearts desire to be in a place where we are known and loved.  We were created
to be in relationships.  I love computers but they will never replace the joy of seeing a
familiar, smiling face.

We need each other in order to be whole.  That's why God created the church.  It is a
community where our name is known and we are loved.  It is a place where we can reach
out and feel the embrace of God.  There is always room for more people like you and me.

The church has changed over the years.  Worship styles come and go.  Yet at the heart
of every church is a community of people who love God and care about each other.  If
you've been experiencing "future shock," then I'd like to invite you to come back and
experience the love of God this Fall.  There are people who are waiting to get to know
your name!

God bless!  See you in church.

Cal
Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
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