Tag Archives: family

seek and you will find

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Mother Teresa once said that true love doesn’t measure, it just gives without counting the cost. I totally agree with her. And what a perfect time of the year to accept and celebrate the incarnation of that love.

As we draw ever closer to the day Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, my prayer is that all of us, whatever our spiritual path may be, may come to the place where we find that true and perfect love that casts our fear. I pray that we go through that open that door which leads to peace and justice for all, and that we finally realize that we are all one gloriously disfunctional family.

wasting food in a hungry world

Food waste is a matter of life and death.

Wasting food does not directly cause members of our family to die. But, make no mistake, it is a contributing factor.

We daily waste enough food to keep entire families alive. And the saddest part of that is we never even give it a thought.

Wasting food in a world of hunger is one more sign of our lack of community and our lack of caring for one another.

One step toward ending hunger in our lifetime is to be more mindful of our wasteful patterns of consumption. We all need to waste less food.

First Broad Street UMC

Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go; first of all in your own home. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to the next-door neighbor. — Mother Teresa

This past weekend I had the privilege to participate in the annual Mission Celebration at First Broad Street United Methodist Church in Kingsport, Tennessee. They’re a group of folks that would bring a smile to Mother Teresa’s face.

I had been a workshop leader at last year’s Celebration so I was excited to have the opportunity to join the congregation once again. Last year’s event was so thoroughly impressive I couldn’t imagine it could be better this year. I was wrong. This year’s Mission Celebration was even better than last year’s.

Hundred of folks interested, engaged and excited about mission opportunities spent Friday afternoon through Sunday in workshops, seminars and presentations describing all the mission work in which the First Broad Street United Methodist Church is actively involved.

I spoke several times during the weekend. The church was filled with displays of mission and ministry and there were several large rooms of fair-trade crafts from church mission partners both abroad and here in the US.

One of the highlights of this year’s celebration was the Stop Hunger meal packaging event where everyone joined together to package over 20,000 meals in only 90 minutes. Everyone was overwhelmed at the ease of accomplishing such a feat and touched at the impact their effort would make on behalf of hungry school kids in Haiti. I am sure that more meals will be packaged at next year’s Celebration.

The members of First Broad Street United Methodist Church understand that they have the power to change the world. The congregation is actively involved in dozens of missions. They are working in numerous locations in their own city of Kingsport. But they are also touching lives through their mission outreach in other areas of Tennessee, North Carolina and in the far corners of the world such as South Sudan.

First Broad Street United Methodist Church gets it. They aren’t satisfied with just writing checks. They have a heart for missions that’s as big as the world and they are spreading God’s love everywhere they go.

 

 

worth a thousand words

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All life is sacred. Allowing such suffering is an obscenity.

This Somalian child is a member of our human family, created in the image of God.

He is my brother.

There is no spiritual tradition, no faith path, no religion that condones, tolerates or allows such misery. Every hungry and starving child in the world is an indictment against superficial spirituality that ignores the reality of this unnecessary evil.

When will we decide it’s time to become human enough to erase the obscenity of hunger once and for all?

If it’s not today it’s not soon enough.

 

interpreting the hungry

I found a powerful quote yesterday as I was spending a few quiet minutes browsing thorough some books I was unpacking. After rereading it a couple of times I realized that the writer had a grasp of a critical key to ending hungry in our lifetime.

We all know there are millions of our human family whose entire shortened lives are spent cowering in the shadow of hunger. What is, however, often missing is the understanding of that fact. Knowledge of millions going hungry is insufficient for action.

We need to interpret that knowledge. And as Dorothee Sölle points out, that is where religion plays a role. Each one of those millions of hungry is in reality one of our family…whom we are allowing to starve.

We are afraid of religion because it interprets rather than just observes. Religion does not just confirm that there are hungry people in the world; it interprets the hungry to be our brethren whom we allow to starve. – Dorothee Sölle

 

recognizing we are all one family

Whether people are beautiful or plain, friendly or cruel, ultimately they are human beings, just like oneself. Like oneself, they want happiness and do not want suffering. Furthermore, their right to overcome suffering and be happy is equal to one’s own. Now, when you recognize that…you automatically feel empathy and closeness for them. Through accustoming your mind to this sense of universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others: the wish to help them actively overcome their problems. This wish is not selective; it applies equally to all. – the Dalai Lama

Ending hunger in our lifetime is possible. We all know it is the right thing to do. My prayer is that we recognize that we are all human beings, we are all one family, and we all have a right to life in all its fullness. Once we recognize that, the feeling of responsibility will lead us to do whatever is necessary to make sure each of us has bread.

acceptable prayers

Does God have a set way of prayer, a way that he expects each of us to follow? I doubt it. I believe some people — pray through the witness of their lives, through the work they do, the friendships they have, the love they offer people and receive from people. Since when are words the only acceptable from of prayer? – Dorthy Day

Gracious and loving God. Empower each of us this day to pray without ceasing. Allow our every action to reflect your compassion for those of our family most in need, and ensure that everything we do demonstrates  your sacrificial love and your justice for the poor and the hungry next door, down the street, and around the world.