Find your inner Barney: Grace church holds unique study

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2000

Are you ready to find &uot;the Barney within&uot;? Do you often wonder, &uot;What would Andy do?&uot; Grace United Methodist Church has a unique way to find those answers — and study the Bible — with a program using everyone’s favorite Mayberry characters.

&uot;The Andy Griffith Show&uot; Bible Study began Wednesday at Grace and will continue for three weeks beginning Oct. 25. The class will skip this Wednesday.

&uot;This is not only something we’ll enjoy because it’s nostalgic,&uot; said Susan Powell, the church secretary, who discovered the Bible study program through the Internet. &uot;There was a little bit more about that show.&uot;

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In Wednesday’s class, church members watched an episode of the classic show in which farmer and sometimes-moonshiner Rafe Hollister was chosen to represent the town of Mayberry in a prestigious musical program.

Hollister’s outward appearance — overalls and an unshaven face — did not make a favorable impression on the town’s mayor or on the elderly Mayberry resident leading the musical program. But in the end, Hollister showed his audience the difference between discerning and judging, illustrated also by a passage from Matthew.

It is those kinds of &uot;timeless morals and values,&uot; Powell said, from which people can still learn.

&uot;Mayberry isn’t about a place,&uot;&160;Powell said. &uot;It’s about a lifestyle.&uot;

After watching the program, church members discussed questions from a study guide.

For the most part, viewers will likely recognize themselves in the character of deputy Barney Fife, and perhaps traits of Jesus in the character of Sheriff Andy Taylor.

But Powell pointed out that even the lovable sheriff wasn’t always perfect.

&uot;You don’t want a perfect Andy,&uot; she said. &uot;You want an Andy you can learn with.&uot;

Class members said the trip down television’s memory lane was a valuable lesson.

&uot;It was wonderful,&uot; said Carole LeMay. &uot;Anytime you can use comedy you really learn. I was always a fan of the show and always recognized that there was a moral to each episode.&uot;