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The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan

The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan is senior pastor of First Congregational Church (UCC) in Asheville, NC.

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Asking the Next Question

August 06, 2010

At a recent book club gathering, the topic turned to the exploitation of children.  There'd been a news report that child prostitution was on the increase in our city.  One woman in the group became very distressed and said, "We've got to do something!"


I hear these words often in my work as a pastor.  On the whole, church folk are some of the best-hearted, best-intentioned people on the planet.  They-we-want to help relieve suffering in the world in whatever ways we can.  But so often that desire never gets translated into action.  As soon as someone says "We've got to do something!" the conversation mysteriously shifts to another topic, leaving hearts full of desire to give  languishing in the paralysis of not knowing what to do next.



So, I tried something at the book club meeting.  I asked the next question:  "So, what are we going to do?"  Dead silence.  Then a couple of "I don't knows."  More silence.  Then one person said, "Let me do some research."  Another said, "I'll look, too."  Someone else said, "Maybe we can do some reading on the subject."


The process is moving slowly, but we are beginning to take action.  Small steps, simple steps, but we are moving forward.  Yesterday we watched a documentary on the exploitation of young girls.  We've added a book on the topic to our reading list.  We've invited a speaker to our November meeting and are conferring with a fellow church member, an attorney who specializes in legal issues and children.  We haven't planned beyond that, but now that the process has begun, we trust that the next step will become clear if we just keep moving forward. 


There is so much suffering in the world...and there are so many people of faith anxious to help relieve some of that suffering.  So often, all that stands between our desire to take action and taking it is asking the next question-What are we going to do?


Now that you've read this blog, I ask the question of you:  What are you going to do?


Peace for your journey,




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