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Food Pantry

Nov 12th & 18th

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Village Holiday Mkt

Saturday, Nov. 20th



Thursday, Nov. 25th

Knitting,Crocheting,etc.for Homeless

Every Monday

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Alcoholics Anonymous

Every Monday & Wednesday


Men's Dining Out

1st Wed of month

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  • Pastor Scott

    From the Pastor

    Rev. Scott Crane

    Learning to Live with Nuance...

    Several years ago, I had my niece ask me when summer was going to be here. Since she had some learning disability, I thought a bit as how best to answer. I wasn’t sure that giving her the calendar date was what she wanted. She was probably wanting to know when we were going to get the sunny, warm weather. While the question was simple enough, I was not sure I could give a simple enough answer that would be sufficient for her. Indeed, I wanted to think of a more nuanced answer.

    Answers about weather are never simple. My nephew, a meteorologist with NOAA, will tell you that. There are patterns and predictions but there are no guarantees. I think that is why they talk about the cone of probability when it comes to hurricanes these days. It predicts “within the ballpark” and recognizes that storms have their own life and path that depend on many variables. You can make educated guesses based on past knowledge and using probabilities. But to “assume” one can predict all things weather related with pinpoint accuracy is not being realistic.

    Life is not always as simple or black and white as we would like it to be either. There are often different shades or nuances of looking at any subject. As well, individual perspectives may be different due to personal experiences that have molded us, both good and bad. As a pastor, I have learned to ask questions when I get in difficult conversations so that I can really hear and understand where another may be coming from.

    In an article on nuanced thinking, it is noted, “Polarized thinking, also called “splitting” or “all-or-nothing” thinking, is a type of cognitive distortion that prevents people from formulating and understanding some nuanced statements. It’s a common defense mechanism. Usually, the statements in question have deep personal relevance to the person.” (How to practice nuanced thinking and avoid polarized thinking - Ness Labs @ www.nesslabs.com)

    Reading further in the same article, it was suggested that we learn to be aware of our automatic responses or defaults that are sometimes too simplistic. We should always be willing to reflect a bit and seek more understanding, and not simply assume the easiest answer is the correct one. Indeed, responses are more helpful when they come from some research and reflection as opposed to kneejerk reaction.

    As well, it is important to realize that not everything is either/or. Not all things fall into one or the other categories. Sometimes there are both/and answers whereas one person sees and feels something quite different than another. When each one is allowed to share their story from their perspective, you may realize that there are underlying factors which were not easily seen or known. In looking at a coin, for instance, one may see heads and the other tails, but they are both looking the same coin.

    Another important aspect of nuanced thinking is to never over generalize. One of my pet peeves is when someone says, “They all do this” when talking about a certain group of people. I will, often, reply that I came from a family of eight, two parents and six children. And, while we all have the same last name, we do not all think or act alike. As well, with any group of people, we need to realize that, despite there being some common affinities within the group, there will be many different nuances in how each individual perceives and understands any particular issue.

    The world can be a complex thing when we look at the weather, cyclone bombs, hurricanes, and cones of probability. And when you add in human beings, it gets even more complex. The more we can learn to think and live in nuanced ways, the more realistic we can be. And when we diagnose things in more realistic ways, we will know better how to respond. There is a lot of polarized either/or thinking in our world these days, and a lot of reactive responses, and a lot of overgeneralizations. But the good news is that as individuals, we can choose to be different. Hopefully, as people of faith, we can lead the way.

    Grace & Peace,
    Pastor Scott