Rev. Dr. Wayne Chasney

Weekly Meditation

Pastor Wayne began his ministry at Monroeville in August, 1993, after graduating from Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA. Pastor Wayne has his Doctorate of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a focus on ministry in the small church.

In his spare time, Pastor Wayne loves running, reading and cheering for the Minnesota Vikings.

Pastor Wayne is married to Rev. Wendy Schindler-Chasney, pastor of St. John's UCC, Milan. They have two daughters.
"...with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love." (Ephesians 4:2)

    Several days a week I either run or ride my bike on the Inland Coast Trail, covering much of the terrain between Norwalk and Bellevue. As I do, I often come across others also enjoying this wonderful community asset and getting a little exercise. Some are also running or biking. Others are out for a brisk walk with a friend or their dog. Nearly all of us seem happy to just be enjoying the great outdoors.
    As I travel along the trail I always try to acknowledge in some way those whose paths I cross. If I'm not working so hard as to be out of breath I try to say hello or "Nice day." If I come up behind someone I try to let them know I'm coming by saying, "On your left." While I hope not to startle them, I usually startle them. And if I'm working hard and can't muster a spoken word, I at least try to give a wave of the hand or a nod of the head. Something to acknowledge a fellow traveler on the path.
    Almost all of the time, the other person returns my greeting. Some just nod or wave themselves. Others reply with hello or "It is a nice day." And a few try to strike up a full conversation as if we're long lost friends.
    But every once in awhile I come across someone out on the trail who refuses to even look my way. They won't smile or wave or nod their head and heaven forbid they speak a word of greeting. A few have even given me a look that says, "How dare you try to speak to me!"
    When this happens I often have to remind myself not to take it personally. Not everyone wants to be so friendly with complete strangers and I have no idea what kind of day they may be having or what thoughts are on their minds. While I said I "always" try to acknowledge those I pass, there have been times I've been lost in my own thoughts or working too hard and missed the opportunity. I have to remind myself not to judge.
    When I first read this passage from Ephesians 4 and the call to live our lives "with all humility... gentleness... patience... bearing with one another in love," my first thoughts were how we could use more of these virtues in our world today. I thought, "I wish more people were humble and gentle and patience and willing to bear with one another." Why can't more people be like that?
    Then my mind starting recalling all the times I fell short of these same virtues; all the times I was not humble, gentle, patient or willing to bear with others in love. I remembered that the only person I can make do all these things is me. If I want a world in which these virtues are practiced, I have to practice these virtues.
    It's always easier to see what's wrong with others than to be honest with ourselves. Yes, the world could use more humility, gentleness, patience and love. But the only way I can make sure there is more of each of these virtues in the world is to practice them myself. As the song based on the Prayer of St. Francis says, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."