Saturday, October 22, 2011

 "If you think you're too small to make a difference,
 try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” 
                                                                African Proverb

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Solution to Crime

I came by this during my reading of "Habits of the Heart" for one of seminary classes.  I thought that it raised a very good idea.  It certainly is not actually the solution to all crime, but perhaps some . . .

John "Winthrop saw justice as a matter more of substance than of procedure.  . . when it was reported to him during an expecially long and hard winter that a poor man in his neighborhood was stealing from his woodpile, Winthrop called the man into his prescence and told him that because of the severity of the winter and his need, he had permission to supply himself from Winthrop's woodpile for the rest of the cold season.  Thus, he said to his friends, die he effectively cure the man from stealing."

I thought that this was a wonderfully inspirational story and leads me to think about how I might embody the same idea.  I don't have anyone stealing from my woodpile, but what could I do to lighten someone else's load?  What could you do.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Children's Sermon for Trick or Treating UNICEF

Some of you know that I have gone back to school. I am actually going back to school to get my Masters in Divinity and hopefully become a minister like Ian. In fact I am going to the same school that Ian went to, that Mardi goes to, and that our student minister, Peter, went to. I have a long way to go but at least I’ve started.

This semester I am taking a class called Congregational Imagination. Do you guys have a good imagination?

Let’s see – can you picture a purple bunny with blue polka dots and a lion’s tail?

You guys do have good imagination.

Well, the kind of imagining we do in this class is a little different. We imagine about churches that we might work in. Let’s say this church. Imagine I walk in and notice the peeling ceiling up there and so I imagine how the church might look nicer with a flat ceiling and so I figure out how to fix it.

OR we have great congregation imagineers right here. Our bells stopped working and so a couple people started talking about imagining that the bells would work again and they imagined not just that they would work but they would be able to play multiple melodious tunes. Their imagination became the carillon that now plays in our steeple.

The imagination used like this is a powerful tool. This is truly one of our gifts from God.

Well there is an organization that has used this same kind of imagination.

In 1946, just at the end of WWII several people got together to talk about the children of the world. They were very worried about the kids. They worried about them not eating properly, about not having clean water, about not being able to go to school.

These people got together and they imagined. They imagined a world where children weren’t hungry, where children weren’t sick, and could go to school. They then created UNICEF, United Nations Children’s Fund. And start to work to solve all these problems. They imagined a day when they wouldn’t have a job anymore because all the children would be healthy and educated.

Then about 1 year after UNICEF was founded a minister and his wife in PA were out for Halloween and they saw all the kid’s tick and treating. And they imagined . . . Imagine if we could use trick or treating for good. So they painted milk cartons to have children collect money for UNICEF. Now 60 years later, the imagination of these people has collected

$164 million dollars

1.6 billion people have safe water

2.3 billion doses of vaccine have been delivered

UNICEF built schools and buying supplies

Improved nutrition for countless children.

This Halloween, we are going to ask you to join in this imagination ideal and Trick or Treat for UNICEF. Vivian will be handing out your boxes and collecting them after Halloween.

Let’s take a minute to pray:

Dear God:

Thank you for blessing us with imagination. We are thrilled with the wonders that fill our minds. We are inspired by now others have used their imagination to change the world. We appreciate the opportunity to help bring other’s imaginations to life in tribute to You. And hope one day our imaginations will also help bring Your heaven to Earth. In Jesus name we pray. AMEN

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wondering Where I've Been

So I'm sure at least a few of you are wondering where I've been.  Well, even if you haven't been wondering, I'm going to share it with you any way.  I have gone back to school.  Actually, not just school but seminary.  I am beginning the process to become a minister.

This is a huge step in my life (and that of my family).  I believe that God has set this path before me and has been pushing me toward it my whole life.  It has been an exciting, but also a scary step for me.  I look forward to the many things that I will be learning and hopefully I'll have more than a minute or two to share some of it with you.