Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pounding the Pastor

Thanks to everyone for your gifts for Pounding the Pastor - over five times Pastor JP's weight, 1036 pounds (as of the Oct 5 count). And thanks to Shirley & Lee and Bruce for serving on the food pantry board.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Baggage Claim (2): Jacob Meets His Match(es), or You Can't Buy Love

2014/10/05 Christ Church, Mountain Top
Prayer, Psalm 46
Children, Genesis 28.10-22
Message, Genesis 29.1-35

As we ended the message last week, we pointed out that Jacob had been chosen by God, Jacob had been loved, before he was born, before he had done anything good or bad. And, once we got to know him, it was easy to see that he was no Eagle Scout. The fact that God would choose a rascal like Jacob is an act of grace, a reminder that we are God’s simply because God is gracious – not because of anything we have done to earn it or anything we are that deserves it. We are simply loved because God is love.

Today, we continue the story with this …
Momma’s boy, away from home for the first time
Fleeing his brother
Looking for a wife, to “meet his match”
      Stubborn man, uses a stone for a pillow “as hard as his head”
            (Michael Card, Genesis 28.11)
            He’s always gotten his way
                  What happens when he doesn’t?
                  When he “meets his match”

      Marriage as a match for families – finding a girl from the “right family”
      Marriage as a financial transaction (bride price) – not about romance
Deconstructed centuries later in Song of Solomon 8.7b:
      If one offered for love
      All the wealth of one’s house,
      It would be utterly scorned
You can’t buy love.

RENT: “I’ll Cover You” (Angel and Collins, lyrics Jonathan Larson)
I think they meant it
When they said you can’t buy love
Now I know you can rent it
A new lease you are my love
On life, be my life

Connections as commodity, as transaction - TODAY
If I am totally fulfilled in our sexual relationship, I will be faithful
If I am totally fulfilled emotionally,
If you live up to my expectations,
Why porn, prostitution … not just poverty but also because connection is a commodity.

Sunday School

The music class and the youth class having fun and learning lots.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Long Term Response to Ebola

Since June 2014, the General Board of Global Ministries’ United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Global Health unit have been working in collaboration on a global scale to coordinate an integrated approach in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. 

Community education about the disease, health worker protection and psychosocial counseling for affected people and their families are the strategy’s three prongs, said Dr. Olusimbo Ige, of Global Health.

To date, UMCOR and Global Health have worked together to ensure that grants totaling $400,000 for educational programs, protective equipment and other Ebola-related supplies have been provided primarily to United Methodist health boards in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.

“Our approach is to work closely with United Methodist health boards in affected countries, listening closely to them as they identify needs and strategies we can support,” said Rev. Jack Amick, UMCOR executive who heads the organization’s International Disaster Response unit.

Amick is in charge of disbursing UMCOR emergency funds, while Ige advises that distribution in the case of the Ebola response. Together, they hold a weekly conversation by telephone with the United Methodist health boards in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

It has become apparent to the international humanitarian community and the governments involved with this crisis that the epidemic will likely have a long-term negative impact on the health systems, economies and social practices of these countries. 

Global Ministries is partnering with local health boards, bishops, missionaries, UMCOR technical offices and others to enable a long-term approach that not only responds to the current Ebola crisis but, also, helps strengthen healthcare capacity in the region to make it better prepared to meet any possible future crisis.

This long-term, integrated approach reflects the established standard for response to health crises and issues of sustainable development. To financially support these immediate and long-term goals, please write “Ebola response” in the memo section of your check. This will ensure that funds go where intended.

(A news release from The United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries)

Hot Dog Church

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

South Asia Floods

From The United Methodist Committee on Relief hotline, 24 September 2014:

Recent months have seen torrential rain and widespread flooding throughout the countries of South Asia. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is responding with emergency assistance through its partners on the ground in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India-controlled Kashmir. 

In Pakistan, September monsoons submerged low-lying areas in three provinces, damaged electricity and transportation systems, collapsed homes or roofs, and caused extensive crop damage. The storms left at least 190 people dead and 350 injured. It is the fourth consecutive year of deadly monsoons in Pakistan. 

With implementing partner, Church World Service, UMCOR is providing emergency food and non-food supplies to 249 vulnerable families in Azad Kashmir, Bagh District. Supplies include wheat flour, rice, cooking oil, sugar, salt, full kitchen set, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, and others. 

In Bangladesh, UMCOR is working with partner Muslim Aid to provide emergency food supplies to 2,100 families in the northwestern part of the country, which was subjected to fierce rains and flooding in mid-August. Here, too, the most vulnerable households, among them those living in poverty, the elderly, and those living with disabilities, will receive assistance. 

In India-controlled Kashmir, 200 people have died in the region’s worst monsoon season in more than half a century. Hundreds of thousands of people remain stranded by floodwaters in Kashmir Valley. 

UMCOR is working with partner Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) to provide 800 families in Kashmir with emergency food and non-food supplies. UMCOR also is working with partner GlobalMedic to provide 500 families with household water purification tools and to supply 25 public water purification systems in 10 villages. 

Your gifts to UMCOR International Disaster Response, Advance #982450, supports the work of UMCOR and its partners when disaster strikes. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014