From retired bishop Kenneth Carder's blog:
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Luz Maria Trujillo is a 61-year-old woman from Coacalco, Mexico. Several years ago, she completed her studies as a community-based primary health worker through . GYTTE is an integrated development program for the rural sector of South-Central Mexico.
Trujillo donates her time to train women in preventative care, traveling many hours by bus to reach the training center. Thankfully, GYTTE has been able to cover her travel expenses because of generous UMC #GivingTuesday donations that came to the project in 2014 and 2015.
Trujillo also has trained many women to become community health workers through GYTTE’s “More Than a Bandage” program. Through this community and family health program, women complete their studies in basic health and sanitation, intermediate first-aid, and advanced health courses. The women graduate and serve their families, neighbors, and community on a volunteer basis. They also join medical teams and visit various rural and remote clinics, teaching patients preventative care.
The rest of the story ...
Note: A team from our region goes to GYTTE just about every year. You can go too!
Monday, August 29, 2016
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Thursday, August 25, 2016
A once-dilapidated clinic, with no water, electricity, or trained staff, has received a new lease on life, thanks to the Abundant Health initiative and the work of the Liberia Annual Conference health board.
The John Dean Town Clinic is the only health facility serving the remote John Dean Town community in Grand Bassa County, Liberia. Until recently, most care, including that for pregnant women, newly delivered mothers, and babies, was provided by traditional birth attendants with limited skills. This often led to negative outcomes for mothers and babies.
Now, with support from Abundant Health and the Liberia Conference health board, the John Dean Town Clinic has the capacity to provide community health education, delivery services, medicines, medical supplies, immunizations, family planning services, and treatment for common childhood illnesses. The clinic has hired a new nurse midwife, built a well with water piped to the clinic, and established a regular supply of medicines. The resident nurse/midwife also helps train Community Health Volunteers to serve the community and encourage mothers to have their babies at the health center.
For more ...
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Call to worship, Psalm 30
Children, 2 Kings 5.1-14 (Naaman)
Message, Galatians 6.7-18
This conclusion has the most damning assessment of the preachers of this no-gospel that Paul is refuting: They preach circumcision because it makes them more acceptable and removes the risk from following Jesus: Galatians 6:12 only that they may not be persecuted.
Again, Paul points to the cross: Galatians 6:14 May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Again, Paul points to the Spirit – “sow to the Spirit”, “eternal life from the Spirit”.
Galatians 6:8-9 If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.
Naaman could have quoted these verses
Sow to his flesh – his pride
Sow to the Spirit – humility
Galatians 6:15 For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything!
Creation/new: It is God’s work, not our work
Neither circumcision (purely outward, “spit and polish”)
(Mt 23.3, MSG)
Nor compulsive obedience and discipline
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18 All this is from God
“I don’t drink, smoke, or chew, and I don’t go with girls who do”
Monday, August 22, 2016
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Friday, August 19, 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Monday, August 15, 2016
One of our in-house mission partners, Healthy Steps Diaper Bank, received an amazing donation on Wednesday, June 15, when a tractor trailer load of between 200,000 and 400,000 Huggies brand diapers were delivered to Mission Central, where Healthy Steps stores their diapers. The value of this donation is between $40,000 and $55,000 and was awarded by the National Diaper Bank Network.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Friday, August 12, 2016
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Call to worship, Psalm 16 (at Open Table only)
Children, Luke 9.57-62 (follow, but)
Message, Galatians 5.1-26
Paul is beginning to turn the corner in this chapter, moving from various metaphors for our slaveries into more detail on our freedom as children of God.
2 sections, with similar structure:
1. Declaration of freedom
Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free.
Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters
2. Call to stay away from slavery, to live free
Galatians 5:1 Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Slavery of circumcision and law-keeping)
Galatians 5:13 only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence. (Slavery of empty desire)
Indicative - Imperative (Hansen, 153-4)
“What we must do (the imperative) is always based upon what God has already done (the indicative).”
Joshua: I have given you this city (Jericho). Now, do this.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Thanks to UMC #GivingTuesday donations made last year to , in San Francisco Libre, Nicaragua, women are able to protect themselves from domestic abuse and violence. Not only do they receive the psychological, legal, and monetary assistance they need to confront these situations, they also come to a deeper understanding of their human rights as women, which empowers them.
Lucy (not her real name) was one of these women.
Lucy (not her real name) was one of these women.
Monday, August 8, 2016
Saturday, August 6, 2016
Thursday, August 4, 2016
Call to worship, Psalm 87
Children, Luke 15.11-32 (father and two sons)
Message, Galatians 4.1-20
Review: Freedom theme
Guilt trips – discussion of the racial divides in our nation
Living under a curse, in captivity
Today: excluded & enslaved
First, some background regarding difficulties with the Apostle Paul
Both Jews and Gentiles enslaved
Law of God
Offensive in its time,
despite the priority he set on the Jewish gift
Seeds of equality … and new possibilities for dialogue
“there is no longer Jew or Greek” (Gal 3.28)
Perspectives on women, and women as leaders
“receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4.5)
A surprising expression of equal rights for women
“there is no longer male and female” (Gal 3.28)
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Whether you’ve been following the weekly lectionary readings or the national political scene, you’ll probably agree we could all use a bit of comic relief. These are difficult times, and the national news is dominated by the multiplication of so-called “natural” disasters, senseless tragic violence, racial strife such as we have not seen since the 1960s, and public name calling that recently sank to the level of an elected official calling for the public execution of one of the presidential candidates. The lectionary texts, where some of us sometimes look for good news, have hardly been a bowl of cherries; the Old Testament readings have come recently from the prophets, who are not exactly known to be good-humored, and in last week’s blistering and apparently final judgment on the people of God from Amos chapter 8, the prophet compared the people Israel, whom he said were guilty of greed, violence, and the systematic oppression of the poor, to a basket of summer fruit—totally rotten summer fruit. Hardly good news, is it?
But this week is different—at least in the lectionary—because this week we get comedy. Comedy, in fact, is what the two texts read this morning have in common.
You are probably perplexed to hear me characterize the words of Hosea and Paul as comedy, and rightly so, for in neither is there any mention of a guy walking into a bar, any story involving a priest, a minister, and a rabbi, or any hint of a “knock-knock.” The comedy in these texts is of a different sort.