SCALA, JOHN OREN
Growing up in what was for me a quite personally as well as socially turbulent Sixties took me far afield from my Southern Ohio Brethren homeland, physically, philosophically and spiritually. I’m fond of saying that Ohio was somehow too small for me. A lifetime of drifting, stumbling, and tasting all manner of ways of life never completely erased my core beliefs in peace and reconciliation, or in Jesus’ calling as example, even mandate, for present living, rather than just a ticket to paradise after this life on earth. In fact, my lifetime of committed social activism has always been informed by the teachings, if not necessarily by any consistent example, of the practitioners of my faith of origin.
After my physical life was threatened, and gifted back to me in the form of successful cardiac surgery last February, I felt a renewed calling and sense of quiet urgency to return my God-given gift for music in some form of ministry, and I knew the local Church of the Brethren, being both small and open, could use me right away.
With no small trepidation, I hobbled in one Sunday. I was warmly and unquestioningly embraced beyond my wildest imaginings, and any gift I was willing to give has been, and continues to be, eagerly received.
But it wasn’t until I noticed that bumper sticker that said
“When Jesus said ‘love your enemies’, I think he probably meant don’t kill them”
---first on the literature table, then on a few bumpers in the parking lot—
---that I really knew I was home.