The Thirteenth Church of Wiggalazoo

March 2 is the birthday of Theodor Geisel. On his birthday four years ago, I published this Dr. Seuss-inspired (primarily his If I Ran the Zoo) post about ecumenicism. I've updated it some. It is definitely not Seuss quality (the rhythms of his books are remarkable) and maybe more than a bit idealistic, but I hope you enjoy.

It was Sunday morning in Wiggalazoo
And a young boy was dreaming, as kids often do

Willie McGrew was pedaling his bike
When he noticed the churchgoers all looked alike

He thought about churches along Wiggalazoo Lane
And how folks stuck together with those who were same

They sang the same songs, they read the same books
They thought the same thoughts and had the same looks

Twelve churches in town and twelve bubbles they made
They did not mingle nor ideas did they trade

As he thought, an idea creeped up on Willie McGrew
What if a thirteenth church came to Wiggalazoo?

It’d be a place where everybody could go
Young and old, rich and poor, the fast and the slow

(“Slow?” you may ask. Well, it’s a rather long story
Involving the Speed Schism of Nineteen and forty)

Beyond barriers of class and the sociological
The church would welcome a variety theological

A place where Calfinfish, Armiants, and Wesselwats
Could worship together with Green Operaducks and Masstronauts

And instead of letting politics conquer and divide
The donkeyphant and elekey would stand side by side

Would they agree on it all? No, not in the least
Yet despite disagreements together they’d feast

Besides all of the rifts seemed especially lame
When the God that they worshipped was one and the same

Oh, how wonderful, how beautiful it’d be
To see every color in that community

The new things they'd learn, the new thoughts they'd think
When different folks gathered around a shared link

Perhaps the church services would be different too
There'd be songs from choirs of Silver Haired Ariloos

The Amperheads would rock out on their electric lyres
There'd be sermons and dramas, perhaps puppets, maybe fire!

It'd be a community of love, a community of grace
With no need for masks and all met face to face

They'd know church was people, not a building of bricks
They'd reach out to the hungry, the sad, and the sick

But would the church become like the other dozen?
Would outsiders be familiar as quite distant cousins?

Perhaps a new church was not the town's need
Maybe getting to know each other would plant that seed

They could reach out to churches along Wiggalazoo Lane
Could find common ground though they were not the same

They could do projects together. It'd be hard, but fun
As they found at the heart, they're all really one

What would happen? McGrew knew not what to expect
But such is the tension between the already and not yet

A Story I Just Can't Shake

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