Monday, December 13, 2010

What I Learned About Myself from a Presbyterian Minister

My friend Natalie is in a bell choir (which is awesome).  On Friday they had a concert.  The bell choir itself is non-denominational, but it is sponsored by the local First Presbyterian Church and so the Pastor was acting as master of ceremonies at the concert - announcing each piece, introducing the soloists, etc.  (Just in case you didn't know what a master of ceremonies does.)  He also shared an interesting thought about M&Ms.  He was talking about how there is a bowl of M&Ms on a table outside his office that some "evil person" keeps refilling, and how he can't seem to keep himself from grabbing a handful whenever he walks by.  Then (and I wish I could remember more specifically how he tied these thoughts together, but I can't) he ended by wishing us all a good Christmas season, full of Holy M&Ms that will bring us things like love, peace, joy, and justice.  It was then that I realized that, except for justice, I get all of this from M&Ms already.  Truly.  Should I be alarmed?

P.S.  If you have not tried Pretzel M&Ms, you should.  Just saying.

P.P.S.  I hope "Pastor" is right.  I tried searching for the correct term on Google and did some reading on Wikipedia but I had a hard time finding an answer that was clear cut and I was confused.  However, I think I am correct in my understanding that "minister" is a general term for a religious leader, so I didn't misuse that, right?

UPDATE:  After a bit more reading I found that "Reverend" can also be used, and I apologize but I was not paying enough attention and so I do not know how this gentlemen prefers to be addressed. 

UPDATE:  I randomly found the program from the concert in my purse today and it turns out that this good religious leader is, in fact, a Reverend.  Please replace "Pastor" with "Reverend" in the text above.


  1. Hey Jordanne!

    I stumbled upon this on facebook and I hadn't really heard about your life in a long time, so I thought I would take a look. I must admit that I was intrigued by your title considering my religious background. I am assuming that because it was not a service, there was not much in the way of lesson, discussion, or sermon. However, I am a little surprised that after this whole explanation of what he said, you only took away that you get love, peace, and joy from M&M's. I can guarantee that there must be something else that was said, in between the times that you were interested enough to listen, that held more meaning than your love and attachment to candy. When we were close, in the beginning of high school, I was open and interested to every bit of knowledge about your faith. It is that knowledge, understanding, and interest that makes peace and joy and love in the world.

    Hans Kung, a Catholic thelogian stated, “There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions.” There can never be dialogue among the religions of the world until there is correct knowledge.

    Just try to spread that idea of tolerance and understanding to even one person everyday, and the world will be a better place. An attitude much more compatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ, the bible as a whole, and the Book of Mormon as well.

  2. Jordan: I am truly sorry to have offended you. I assure you that this post was not intended to belittle the remarks of the minister, nor to try to make fun of the Presbyterian religion or elevate my beliefs above any one else's in any way. I merely meant to poke fun at myself for liking M&Ms too much, and I guess I did not make that clear enough.

    Though it was not a religious service, the concert was beautiful and full of the peace of the Spirit, and the Pastor (or Reverend, as I said, I am not sure which title he uses and I feel bad about that) shared many uplifting and inspiring remarks. Though I do not remember the exact words that were spoken, not even in the M&M analogy, I do remember that the event itself was a testament to the reality of the Savior and the true meaning of Christmas.

    I have always tried to live my life in the spirit of tolerance. I do not pretend not to be ignorant; I know that I am extremely ignorant of many of the details of the beliefs of other religions. (And though this is unfortunate and probably inexcusable, I think it is not uncommon - not only among members of LDS congregations, but members of many other faiths as well. If one's religious beliefs bring joy and fulfillment into one's life, then there may seem to be little need to discover the inner-workings of any other Church.) However, despite my ignorance, I do try to be loving and accepting of all people, no matter what they believe to be true.

    I like the quote you shared from Hans Kung, and I agree with it and with you wholeheartedly. Again, I am sorry that this post came across as making fun of the remarks that the Pastor made. That was not my intention and I hope that you can understand and that we can continue our friendship (though it has been a long time since we have been in touch) by showing tolerance and understanding to one another, even when I write unintentionally offensive blog posts.

  3. Hey Jordanne,

    I just wanted to say that what I took away from your M&M comment was that sometimes we think of peace, joy, and love as such unobtainable ideas that sometimes its nice to remember that something so simple as M&Ms could really embody all three for you. Sometimes we just need to remember that the things Christ teaches aren't so hard, and that if we all find peace, joy, and love in small things around us every day, and share those moments with others, that entire concept will spread throughout the world! I love it!!

  4. If the minister's name was Paul ( I know that it was at one point,) I think he refers to himself as Pastor Paul at times because he likes alliteration, so you are probably right either way. I heard him speak at a funeral a few years back, and I really enjoyed his tribute to a remarkable person, and I really appreciate your tolerance. I am glad that we can still be friends and that your whole family loves and accepts me as I am, even when I change. I love you guys!