A laywoman from another church was telling me a story about her local church conflict. Everybody had strong opinions. Everybody wants things to go their way. "They all had their own bones to chew," is the description she used to describe the behavior. It made sense to me. Laity and clergy alike in local churches all have strong opinions and want to be heard. Most persons are passionate about their own perspectives. Many of us. lay and clergy alike, are protective of our own opinions and ideas and are invested in having things go our way. I can see a picture of how a congregation is a gathering of diverse and unique people, all protectively chewing on their own bones. Hello... there is a problem! In the church we are meant to be a community of faith, a community that follows Jesus for the transformation of the world. We cannot find our corner, chew on our own bone, and growl at those who want to talk about doing things in a new way. The church cannot be sustained if we chew on our own bone and fail to let others in. Like it or not, we are connected. We need each other. If the decision of our local church runs against our personal preference but is in concert with God's purpose, can we support that decision? Do you want the local church to die because we cannot subjugate our personal preference for the good of the overall community? Shoiuld the church die because we can't give up our own bone? Is lying in a corner, seperated from others, chewing on our own bone, God's plan for our future? I don't think so!