Monday, March 2, 2015

Audit Accountability

Thanks to Jerry for coordinating the audit of all 2014 financials! And, thanks to Linda and Tim (council finance team), and to the rest of the folks who showed up to have fun with numbers and enjoy the delightful food Jerry provided. It is an important part of the accountability and transparency in our process.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

UMCOR aids those displaced by war in Ukraine

February 10, 2015—As eastern Ukraine’s violent upheavals continue, UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, continues aiding communities forcibly displaced from their homes.
The area’s infrastructure has been heavily damaged, and it continues to be battered. Hospitals, schools, grocery stores and pharmacies are among the many buildings that have been destroyed.
UMCOR is working with the Union of Young Christians of Ukraine (UYCU) to address people’s needs within the contested territories of the east, and with the United Methodist Church of Ukraine in the capital, Kyiv, to which many have fled in search of refuge. UMCOR also is working with the United Methodist Church in Eurasia, helping families that have fled to Russia.
“We are supporting humanitarian efforts irrespective of ‘sides’ in the conflict,” says Francesco Paganini, UMCOR executive secretary for International Disaster Response. “We help in solid, practical ways while upholding our important guiding principle to be both humanitarian and impartial.”

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Radical Radio - the 1960s

It was a radical idea for a church communications agency in the 1960s, but the motivation was just as groundbreaking: getting whites and blacks to talk to each other — over the airwaves — during a period of incredible racial tension in the United States.
The vehicle for that dialogue was “Night Call,” one of the first national radio call-in shows.
The creators were part of the Television, Radio and Film Commission of the Methodist Church, also known as TRAFCO, which eventually would evolve into United Methodist Communications.
Although an earlier version of Night Call aired in 1966-67, the show caught fire when it launched again in June 1968, the tumultuous period after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
“It was launched to create dialogue and to let the steam off and to avoid violence,” remembered Price, the show’s executive producer. “It was a very volatile, scary time.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Covenants God Keeps (1): Water

2015/02/22 Christ Church, Mountain Top
Call to Worship, Psalm 25.1-10
Children, Mark 1.9-15
Message, Genesis 9.8-17, with 1 Peter 3.18-22

Mike, the hunter
      Gun racks
      Bow racks

“I have hung [set] my bow in the clouds!” (Gn 9.13)

Covenant: Treaty, agreement – sometimes between equals, sometimes between kings/lords and their vassals – to provide shape to the relationship, clarify expectations, provide guarantees
      Biblical covenants with God always initiated by God!
            God wants relationship with us!
      Broken over and over by us, kept by God
            Tree of the knowledge of good and evil

The LORD saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart (Genesis 6.5-6)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Souper Bowl of Caring

The Super Bowl was a fantastic game, for fans of competitive and exciting football. Unfortunately for me, I was rooting for the team that lost. However … in our own Christ Church Souper Bowl the winner is … THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS. The total pounds collected for each team:
                Colts, 30 pounds
                Patriots, 65 pounds
                Packers, 100 pounds
                Seahawks, 115 pounds

Thanks for your generosity. This represents around 300 meals for hungry neighbors! And, thanks to Bruce and Jane who picked up the "loot" to deliver to the Mountain Top Food Bank.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Haiti Partnership Update

The Haiti Partnership sent a team of nine from Central United Methodist Church in Honesdale to Petit Goave to work at an agricultural school in Vialet. Much needs to be done to reopen this school but the possibilities are endless.

It was really exciting to be the first team on this work site. We all truly appreciated how important this school can be to Haiti and it's people.

The week was very rewarding. We worked on the security wall and helped prepare the directors house for future teams to stay on site. 

The local church brought a group of 60+ children for VBS each afternoon. We told Bible story's, acted out skits, played games ( the children LOVED the parachute and beach balls!), had snacks and just had a blast. By the end of the week, many of the local children came and joined in. We delivered back packs with school supplies to a local school. The school seemed so small, especially when the director told us it usually hosts up to 500 students! The students come in 2 shifts so all can be accommodated. 

We visited an eye clinic and donated 30 pair of eyeglasses that a local optometrist gave us. Our interpreter was Jean Claude. He was buried in the rubble in that particular clinic by the earthquake of 2010. He shared his story of survival with the team on the 5th anniversary of the earthquake. And then to visit the site -it gave us all goose bumps!

For more information about the Haiti Partnership, please visit our website at

Jodi Crimmel
Haiti Partnership

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Haiti recovers - a photo journey

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010, at 4:53 p.m., a 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook apart Haiti’s heart. The epicenter was 16 miles from the capital of Port-au-Prince, killed more than 200,000 and affected 3 million.
Five years later, most of the rubble has been cleared but the aftershocks are still being felt. The United Methodist Church joined hands with the Eglise Méthodiste d'Haïti (Methodist Church of Haiti)  in the first terrible days and have worked side by side every day since.
United Methodist Communications photographer Mike DuBose was in Haiti days after the quake, Jan. 22-29, and later in November 2010. He returned in 2013 and 2014. These photographs are records of how life has changed and how much life still needs to change for the people of Haiti.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Holy Mess (6): Judgment

2015/02/15 Christ Church, Mountain Top
Call to Worship, Psalm 109.21-31
Children, Mark 9.2-8 (Transfiguration Sunday)
Message, John 8.2-11, Romans 8.1-4

An introductory academic matter regarding our text from John’s gospel: You may see in your Bible a notation that indicates that most ancient copies of the text of John’s gospel do not include this story. Some of the texts include it here or in two other places in John’s gospel. One family of texts places it in Luke’s gospel. And, within the story itself, there are some variations of the text, more than typical. This is the only “free-floating” (Culpepper, 170) text that shows up in the Bible and there is a good bit of scholarly conversation on this topic. I read four different academic commentaries on the text and each one of them had a different approach to the authority and history of this text. I am not addressing that today, only acknowledging it. It’s in the book, and we’re using it.
      I do want to make one comment on the general question of textual accuracy of the Scriptures, because I have heard from so many folks that, “You know, you just can’t trust the reliability of the text. Probably early Christians changed things to make it read the way they wanted.” There is absolutely no evidence that is the case. In fact, the New Testament includes so many stories and texts that posed difficulties for the first readers, and they kept those difficulties in the text. There are multiple variants, yes. That’s because this text, our Bible, was so loved and reverenced that it was copied thousands of times by hand and preserved and read by communities all over the world. Having these multiple copies has made it possible for scholars to reconstruct the textual history of the New Testament to an accuracy of over 99.9%. So, when you hear someone say, “Well, we just don’t know what the text originally said”, you don’t need to start an argument and you don’t need to doubt. Some comparisons: The earliest copies of the works of Greek historian Herodotus come 1300 after the originals were written, in the year 900, and there are only 8 early copies from that time. The earliest copies of Caesar’s Gaelic War are 950 years after the originals were written, again in the year 900, and there are only 10 copies from that time. The New Testament writings were widely circulated during the lifetime of the first witnesses to Jesus, and despite being written after Herodotus and Caesar, the earliest copies date to 130, and we have discovered over 25,000 manuscripts all of which date within the first 310 years! (Nicky Gumbel, 8).

Today’s theme is judgment, and there is so much to discuss around judgment. As we wrap up our “Holy Mess” series, we remember that on so many of these issues we have discussed – human sexuality, human life, church and state, science and faith – we line up against each other in judgment, as if in firing lines. My hope has been that we would learn to “be of one heart while not of one mind” (John Wesley).
      Sometimes judgment is all about what I do to myself. I’m not good enough at this. I performed poorly at that. I lost my temper. I was rude, and it doesn’t matter that I am really tired – I was just rude. I’ll never be what I hope to be.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Acolyte Guild

Our acolyte guild is one of the ways our young people learn to lead. Thanks to Paul for coordinating!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mission Central - Small Stuff

"The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: "Don't push these children away. Don't ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in." Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.

(Mark 10:13-16, Peterson's The Message)

Caller: "By any chance, do you have a walker for a four year old?" A negative reply almost passed the lips of the receptionist. Instead she said, "I don't ever remember seeing one before, but let me look." The little boy had just had surgery on both legs and needed a walker to help him be mobile.

When the big box of medical equipment was examined, there was not one child-sized walker, but six of them. 

None of us know when they came in, but they were right on time to meet this request.

At Mission Central, we connect God's resources with human need. When the item arrives just as we need it, we recognize a God Moment ~ God's grace working to meet a need, and we give thanks.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Scout Sunday 2015

Thanks to Steve and the Scouts for another wonderful Scout Sunday. We are so proud of our Scouts, their service in our community, and their growth as leaders.