Friday, January 20, 2017

United Methodist women bring Christmas gifts and live among the poor (Sierra Leone)

During the United Methodist Women’s convention in Kabala, northern Sierra Leone, women break up into groups and go into the rural communities to live and work with the community. In addition to their prayer ministry, they also take gifts of clothing, shoes or toiletries.
By Phileas Jusu
Dec. 16, 2016 | KABALA, Sierra Leone (UMNS)
Carrying large plastic bags filled with Christmas gifts, the United Methodist Women of Sierra Leone went on an Ubuntu journey Dec. 7-11 that led them through rural communities to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
“Ubuntu” is a Zulu word meaning, “I am because you are,” explained Beatrice Fofanah, outgoing coordinator of the group.
The women meet annually and this year were in Kabala, northern Sierra Leone.
“About seven years ago, when I was Women’s Coordinator, I attended an Ubuntu program in America. I was so moved by the impact of the Ubuntu journey that I decided to replicate it into the women’s program in Sierra Leone,” Fofanah said.
Ubuntu has continued to be a significant program of the women’s annual convention for the past seven years with many success stories, she said.
“The women go into the communities and, for a few hours, live and work with the community,” said Ethel Sandy, the new Women’s Coordinator. “In addition to their prayer ministry, social interaction, they also take gifts with them — clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc. And they take along a lot of love and warmth to the community they visit.”

Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr.

He who works against community is working against the whole of creation. Therefore, if I respond to hate with a reciprocal hate I do nothing but intensify the cleavage in broken community. I can only close the gap in broken community by meeting hate with love. If I meet hate with hate, I become depersonalized, because creation is so designed that my personality can only be fulfilled in the context of community. Booker T. Washington was right: "Let no man pull you so low as to make you hate him." When he pulls you that low he brings you to the point of working against community; he drags you to the point of defying creation, and thereby becoming depersonalized.

Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, 1958, 1986, 2010. Boston: Beacon Press, p 94

Caroling After-Party (2 of 2)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dogs making Christmas visits

<p>Bo and Ty are familiar faces at Smyth County Community Hospital.</p>
MARION, Va. (Dec. 18, 2016) -- On Christmas morning, Andy Overbay will get up early and put Santa hats on his furry friends, whose names are Bo and Ty. Then the three of them will drive over to Smyth County Community Hospital to visit the patients who didn’t make it home for the holidays.
For the last four years, Overbay and his dogs have visited the hospital every week, including Christmas day. This Sunday will be their fifth Christmas hospital visit in a row.
“Would you like to see the dogs today?” a hospital staff member asks on a recent Wednesday, accompanying the visiting trio to every patient’s door. Nine times out of 10, patients are thrilled to make small talk with Overbay and cozy up to his 80-pound pets.
“Mrs. Claus has been fattening us up,” Overbay responds to a patient who says she likes big dogs, before asking Bo if he can hear Santa coming outside? Bo obligingly leaps over to the window, standing on his hind legs to peer out over the frosty hospital grounds.
Overbay is a member of Chilhowie United Methodist Church. The ministry he has created -- PAWS for Christ – grew out of his faith and a lot of years working as a dairy farmer, he says.