‘The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion’

Our story so far: From Sunday school room tables to manger scenes, we gathered, sorted and gave away many of the items cluttering the interior of the old Methodist church we were demoing in order to turn into our dream home.

[I cannot claim authorship of today’s headline. It is a quote from Thomas Paine, an English-born political philosopher and author of “Common Sense,” the first pamphlet to advocate American independence.]

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Some things were simply too sacred to throw away indiscriminately. But they weren’t worth keeping either.

Like the flags. The American flag hanging on the flagpole when we took ownership was decrepit beyond salvage. That one and another we found were donated to the local American Legion post for proper retirement (i.e., burning). I also found a half-dozen desk flags that I donated to Goodwill. The United Methodist Church flag, we returned to the nearby congregation with whom the former members of our church had merged.

Then there were the hymnals. We found boxes of them, probably a few issued by every Methodist hymnal committee in a century.

I kept four of them with the intention of making a unique light fixture for a reading nook somewhere. The rest, I gave to Goodwill in hopes someone would find a creative use for them.

These Bibles are becoming useful again in the hands of prison inmates.

And the Bibles. We unearthed more than two dozen Bibles in various conditions from falling apart to pretty nice. I kept one in excellent condition, respectfully tossed two whose bindings were disintegrating and packed up twenty-six others. Those I shipped to Christian Library International. CLI’s mission is to advance Christ’s light in prisons by distributing Bibles and offering Bible study.

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You can help Christian Library International, too, by collecting Bibles at your church, contributing money for shipping and prayer.

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Tomorrow: Like good American capitalists, we make the big bucks by selling some of our construction waste. Read it here.

3 thoughts on “‘The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion’

  1. Thanks for finding a home for these, we too couldn’t see them going to waste. The little burgundy one on the left is the kind we received when finishing 3rd grade. I still have mine, the first bible I ever received!


    • I wondered if anyone would find any of those Bibles in the picture familiar. Bibles, like cookbooks, are distinctive. I’m glad you shared your memory here. Thank you!


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