Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Catching Up

A dear reader commented this morning, privately, that I had posted a "cliff-hanger" the day before yesterday and hadn't updated it yet.

Thanks for caring! The dinner party Monday night went very well; everyone had a good time.

Erin, my daughter, who was still here Monday morning, commented that it wouldn't in the least faze her mother-in-law to find out 12 people were coming to dinner the next night. "She'd just say something like, 'Okay, I'll put in a chicken breast and make some salad...'"

"Dial her number for me!" I demanded.

Nancy suggested a ham with scalloped potatoes, or perhaps a lasagna with salad and garlic bread, which is what I chose. Go to, said Jeff (son-in-law) to find a good recipe. Just type in "lasagne" and sort the search results by ratings. So I made the first one that came up, rated 5 stars, called, "World's Best Lasagne," with about 5,000 reviewers who agreed that it was. It was a success. So was the chicken pot pie Anita so graciously brought us. Thank you, Nancy! Thank you, Anita!

I dumped some canned apple pie filling into a frozen crust and made my own crumble to go on top of it, easy. Also made a double recipe of "Mike's Salad" aka "Five-Cup Salad," aka "Ambrosia", also easy. (Combine one cup each of: pineapple tidbits, mandarin orange slices, coconut, sour cream, marshmallows.) We still call it "Mike's Salad" in our family, even though Mike finally let on, some years ago, that he doesn't particularly care for it. And I made some Greek meat balls as well.

It wasn't until yesterday we realized we had forgotten to offer anybody coffee after the meal. That's because I don't drink it, so don't think about it. Don't even know how to make a good pot of coffee, or even know good coffee from bad; to me, it's all bad.

Oh, well. Nobody asked, either. Perhaps the wine and beer and cider were enough for them.

The topic of the evening was what to do about public sinners in the church. Specifically, a man who was convicted of theft and jailed. He came back to the church, whatever that means, once he was out, but in a short while, it happened all over again! And he was back in jail. Now he goes to some Protestant congregation. They've prayed over him and everything is alright, as far as they're concerned.

Another woman was caught using church funds for personal use and has almost never been seen in church again, except for her father-in-law's funeral. Nick said he had invited her and her husband several times to join our weekly supper club, and they always say they'd love to come but never have. I thought, at first, it was pretty audacious of Nick to do that without consulting the rest of us, but after a moment I decided I admire that kind of audacity. And I'm pleased he felt free to do it, knowing we'd all concur.

Demetrios commented that the reason we forgive but can't forget is, we are afraid such people will do it to us again, or else the memory of their misdeeds just provokes hostility. Christ, he pointed out, was in such communion with His Father, and had such perfect trust in His Father's care, that He had so such fear and no such hostility. Neither will we, when we become sufficiently mature in the faith.

It's relatively easy to know what to do about such people at the personal level, but what about corporately? Do we welcome them back into various church organizations? Do we let them hold office? My own supposition is, we ought to follow the lead of the priest. If we see him giving the person Holy Communion, we can safely assume the person has been to confession and been absolved and should be dealt with accordingly. Ah, the ancient practice of public confession had its wisdom!


Anam Cara said...

I was taught that we welcome them back, but do not put them in a position where they might be tempted. The thief is not made the church treasurer, although he might be a good teacher or choir member. It goes with the idea that we don't eat meat sacrificed to idols that might cause the weaker brother to sin. This is not punishment, or even saying "once a thief, always a thief." It is looking after his best interests and not putting him in a place where he is known to be vulnerable to the wiles of the evil one.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

That sounds very wise.