Monday, November 17, 2008

Clyde E. Weaver - forerunner to Brethren Bloggers

In the Introduction to a small booklet titled "Plumb Line" published by Brethren Press in 1980, Fred Swartz introduces Clyde Weaver with these words:

There are some people who may call Clyde Weaver a "jack of all trades" and their evaluation is not entirely unfounded. He has "packed a lot" into his five short decades of life, including vocational journeys into food service and processing, seminary teaching, marriage and family life counseling, automobile dealership, and Christian publishing and marketing.

Some of us will remember the years when Clyde was Director of Marketing for the Church of the Brethren. In that role he was able to introduce us to new Brethren books each year at Annual Conference. His brief "advertisements" were always creative and interesting and often ended with the remark that "those who do not read are no better off than those who cannot read."

Clyde believed that one's life needed to be consistent with one's beliefs. Part of his own method of evangelism was his own orientation toward people - tolerant, caring, empathetic. But he also was a master of humor and used the pun to expose the truth. For a time in the late 1970s, he was searching for a way to make a personal witness to his peace convictions and decided to invest in a periodic ad in the local newspaper. Today, he might have chosen to blog. For one year Clyde bought space for "Plumb Line" in his local newspaper biweekly. Some of these brief meditations were then published by Brethren Press. One example follows:


Each of us was once a child. We played spontaneously, loved anything warm and cuddly, thought wallpaper was a blackboard, enjoyed the feel of oozing mud and delighted in the intrigue of a sandpile. We learned by experimenting, laughed easily, and were fascinated with anything that moved. We held grudges for two minutes or less, loved stories, ate at the wrong times and occasionally enjoyed watching our parents trying to figure us out. We were the emerging generation and happy in not knowing it.

How sad that in our preoccupation with the sophistication of adulthood we forget to reflect upon these beginnings. Was not Jesus alluding to the same values as he indicated how difficult it would be to make it into the Kingdom unless we become like children. In our fear of being childish we forget to be childlike. Indeed, we can never be whole persons without nourishing the child that dwells within us. Could it be that by starving the child within us we become desperate, fearful and unloving adults? "And a little child shall lead them."

Source: Plumb Line: Straight Talk for Christians and Other Sinners, Clyde E. Weaver