Church & Message

Church and Message

I stayed in Boise last weekend to attend some state Democratic Party functions, particularly the Frank and Bethine Church Dinner. It was sunny and pleasant here and snowy on the Palouse, but I still missed my home. We had organizational meetings and informational talks and fundraising events. It was great to get together.

I was in a group Saturday afternoon that discussed messaging. This is the process of transmitting information in just a few words or symbols. The connection between the words and emotions is often critical. Think of the phrases “Pro Life” and “Pro Choice”.  We are surrounded by messaging. Just do it. But the Democratic Party is famous for the 12-point plan, not a clear message, until along came “hope and change.”  Now that we have change we are hoping for a message that resonates.

President Reagan seemed to transmit the message of hope. America would rise above our problems and triumph, like in the old 1950’s movies. He was the “Great Communicator”.

Here in Idaho we Democrats are much marginalized. We need to have words and phrases we can identify with. I found the exercise interesting but the main thing I took away was the word “stewardship” and a lot of one-word phrases the Republicans would use to characterize us.

The highlight of the weekend was my Sunday morning in church. This was my first time to go to church here in Boise. Despite the one-hour time difference I felt a unity with my wife, Martha, because I knew she would be going to church in Moscow.

I always want to know the sermon title. Martha just goes. The title for the sermon here in Boise was “Make a Joyful Noise”.  It was supposed to kick off their fund drive, which they call their Stewardship Campaign. There were trumpet cantatas and hymns to sing. The minister asked each of us to consider what would be our “theme song” or hymn that would reflect our nature. I chose mine quickly. What would yours be?

The minister explained that religion combines intimacy with awe, and then solidifies the experience in the community.

I thought of my time in the Capitol and if there was any awe involved. I believe there has been. I have been touched by stories and effort. Irony always brings a laugh. I have heard honest emotion. And I share this experience with at least 34 others. If I become jaded and cynical, I hope I quit or change before the voters express disgust.

This weekend I was able to attend church in Moscow. The sermon spoke to how we need to have multigenerational activities if we want to thrive as a congregation. Our minister spoke of the generations. I am a late Boomer. She described the GenXers and the Millenials as both more liberal but also less involved in organized church activities. Maybe they will take to politics. Idaho’s future rises.

Thank you for comments. I read them all but do not post them.

About ddxdx

A Family physician, former county coroner and former Idaho State Senator
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One Response to Church & Message

  1. Saundra Lund says:

    Senator Schmidt,

    First, I’m glad you’re not posting comments but are reading them — this is a very convenient way to contact you without having those wanting to comment to write for public consumption.

    I’m . . . intrigued that you didn’t comment more about the Frank and Bethine Church Gala. I was hoping to read your thoughts on Rep. Heath Shuler as the speaker. Not that it made a difference, but we rejected the invitation on the grounds that the choice of Shuler as a speaker is symptomatic of the IDP leadership “choices” that serve as nothing so much as insulting loyal Democrats.

    Are you seeing any indications that the state party is moving away from the track that has served to alienate so many Idahoan Democrats?

    There *is* such a thing as too big of a tent. Just as the Republicans would do well to distance themselves from the fringe element as William Buckley, Jr et all had the wisdom to do back in the early 1960s (I think that’s when it was), Idaho Democrats don’t do ourselves any favors embracing those who are claim the title of “Democrat” out of convenience and a desire of support from a party that’s ripe for raiding money and votes from.

    Saundra Lund

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