Last week’s Rustlings article prompted conversations around a possible 2018 pilgrimage to Israel. Several have been waiting in the wings for the next opportunity to visit the Holy Land. Tentatively, the dates of this journey are July 16-26. It may be shortened by a day and travel days may be slightly shifted, but if it happens, it will fall within those two weeks. The summer dates will allow those tied to the school system to have the option to travel. If you are interested in receiving more information about this trip, please call Jenna Manning at the church office and make sure you are on the list of prospective pilgrims. We will have an informational meeting later in the year.

Last week’s mention of Israel in the Rustlings article also prompted some fears. Sunday morning, a dear parishioner suggested I stop traveling to such a dangerous area of the world. She conveyed her concern for me and other visitors to the Middle East. Knowing I spend a significant amount of vacation days west of the Mississippi, she suggested I take a group to Las Vegas instead…and this morning I awoke to the news…

I’ve been thinking about our founding fathers this morning. If the founding fathers established the Second Amendment so that we might be able to protect ourselves from an oppressive government, then the idea is already mute. The government has developed weapons that far exceed the capabilities of my dad’s deer rifle or my grandfather’s ‘sweet sixteen.’ Maybe they assumed the Second Amendment would afford us the luxury of sport or security against crime or the tools necessary to wander and tame a wilderness. Who knows? No one can know the complete complexity of thoughts meandering through the minds of the founding fathers. What we do know is the amendment was adopted 226 years ago. Life, culture, technology, population and risks have all changed and evolved in these two centuries. Our founding fathers, while respected, held a naiveté, an ignorance and a fallibility inherent in their limited historical perspective. They did not know what we know. It is time to bring contemporary wisdom to these respected words contained within the Bill of Rights. Nothing sacred to our heritage or freedoms need be lost, but a truer safety and sanctity of life needs to be established. Praying for victims is getting empty and old. It’s time to do something.

— Jim