Monday, 29 September 2014

What's on the Inside

What a attention grabbing headline - "Saskatoon church cancels memorial over T-shirt". Hard to believe this actually happened. A family booked a church hall (not the church or the priest) for a memorial service and had the booking cancelled by a volunteer when she saw the obituary picture. In the picture the deceased, Larry Frazer, was wearing a T-shirt advertising the TV show "Sons of Anarchy" which centres around a fictional motorcycle gang of the same name.
Apparently the volunteer who was responsible for the booking said that they "do not want his kind there."

The priest of the church firmly apologized for the actions of the volunteer and emphasized that their church does not say "no" to anyone seeking a funeral service. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon is also confused about what happened and the connection between Frazer's appearance and the cancellation of the booking of the hall.

This story is not about the particular parish or the Roman Catholic church - this could have happened in any church. It is about making sure that as individuals and as a church that we don't jump to conclusions about what is on the outside. What T-shirt you wear does not determine your character. Neither does skin colour, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or anything else.

Jesus never let the outside appearance fool him - he always treated everyone like a human being. The one time he didn't, he changed his mind! (Matthew 15:21-28) We should be looking at the inside first - at the person who is a child of God in need of love and care.

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