The Method Behind the Means
In 1936, the '2 in 1 Class' (also sometimes the Two in One Class) printed a small booklet of the classConstitution and By-Laws of the Two in One Sunday School School Class of the Wesley M.E. Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This eight page (6 with text) booklet was approx. 5 inches by 4 inches. It established in Article I the name of the class was to be the "The 2 in 1 Sunday School Class".
It specified the object or purpose of the class as an organization for the "regular and systematic study of the Bible under competent leadership; the achievement of Christian culture through the spiritual, intellectual, and social development of every member; mutual helpfulness and the extension of Christ's kingdom." The motto for the class was simple and direct: "every member present every Sunday on time with a liberal offering, a studied lesson, and a mind to learn."
The name came from the 'two shall be one' and was made of younger married couples. Some fifty years later they members had aged but the class still met. It finally disbanded in the 1990's. The committee for the booklet was comprised of Virgil A. Alden, H.B. King, and Ellis Margo and the last amended date for this copy was October 30, 1936.
One has to wonder if this type of intentional approach to religious life, merging aspects of both civic awareness of orderly group conduct in a democracy and the Wesleyan model of setting a goal and then meeting that goal through an ongoing process of personal commitment, might not be an important lesson to relearn.
In the "Me" decade of 'going with the flow' rules, commitment, and accountability fell by the roadside in most of modern society. That is also a time when churches from many denominations encountered a great 'falling away.' The WWI and WWII generations in conflict with the Gray Flannel corporate society and their children - who tuned in, turned on and dropped out of nearly everything. The modern era of social justice replaced sharing the Good News. The social programs replaced the spiritual programs. Instead of bringing the two together an either/or dichotomy emerged. The way was lost as the clear purposes, missions, and goals were lost in a forest of conflicting idealogies of equal worth on a stage relative moral direction.
One of the aspects of post-modernism is a return to the origins, to touch once more the source and then make the journey again. Along the way there is an identification of mistakes and errors in judgement, methodology and practice. A living form of the old adage "measure twice, cut once."
Maybe it is time to revisit the origins and the source and take measure once more, check the compass and find the true north of spiritual activity and be renewed in mind and functions.