Tag Archives: rethink church

Journey to Hope

Where do you find hope?

It is an interesting question, and one that starts an online Bible study produced by rethinkchurch.org.  “A Journey to Hope” is a seven-week look at where hope can be found.  Hope can be found in the most unlikely of places.  In the midst of brokenness and disorder, hope can emerge.  Like a lone sprout emerging from dry, cracked ground, hope defies the odds.

For the next few weeks, I am going to follow this study as it looks at relationships, self-esteem, work, money, suffering, and ends with hope.  The study will include questions for reflection and discussion, video presentations and Biblical commentary.  I’m looking forward to taking this journey, and I invite you to take it with me.

The introduction of the study can be found here.  It poses another question: “Is it possible for something on the horizon to transform your life now?”  As you look out into the horizon, what do you see?  As you think about hope, I offer you this quote from Laura Rossbert, one of the online guides of the journey:

“Hope is rooted in the foundation that God prepares the way for us…  There is a Spirit that is at work in our world that is making a difference with us… It is knowing that it is not all up to me.”  Laura Rossbert

Week One: Relationships

Week Two: Self-Esteem

Week Three: Work

Week Four: Temptation

Week Five: Money

Week Six: Suffering

Week Seven: Hope

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Can a car wash change the world?

Can a car wash change the world?

Can the hungry be fed?

Can  the sick find healing?

Can a sinner be redeemed?

Can swords be beaten into plows?

Can a heart be transformed?

Can the dead live again?

Can a car wash change the world?

I suppose it is all a matter of perspective.  If we offer a free car wash at church on Saturday, will the world be a different place?  If someone’s day is brightened by a free act of love, will their perspective be changed?  If someone receives a flyer about World Malaria Day can awareness be achieved?

On Saturday, April 24 from noon until 3 p.m. volunteers will gather at Chenoa United Methodist Church to wash cars.  We will not accept money.  We will also extend an invitation.  It is an invitation to be in relationship  for a few moments.  It is an invitation to be a loving community.  It is an invitation to pray, worship, and learn about a movement that can change the world.

Just two generations ago Malaria was a serious health concern in the United States.  A comprehensive public health effort from 1947-1951 virtually eradicated malaria in this country.

Sixty years later Malaria continues to kill one million people a year.  None of those deaths occurred in the United States, Canada or Europe.  90% of those deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.  Most of these are children.

A lot of religious folk want to talk about sin.  They like to make their list of sins, often that others commit.  They may pay lip service to the fact that we are all “sinners,” but then act as if it is all ‘those people’ that sin.  If you want to start talking about sin, let’s start with the fact that while we sit and spend an hour in worship, or reading the Bible, or watching TV, or eating dinner – every hour of the day – 120 children in Africa die of a disease that is preventable and curable.

The people of the United Methodist Church have said, “No more.”  Imagine No Malaria is a bold initiative to raise $75 million (that’s less than $7 per member of the United Methodist Church) to eradicate malaria in Africa by the year 2015.  Through education, medicine, prevention, this is an achievable goal.  According to Imagine No Malaria’s website, increased net coverage and access to medicine has cut the mortality rates in Rwanda 66% in two years.

So, can a car wash change the world?  Could one relationship be built that could lead someone to pray?  Could one person with a flyer in their hand make a donation that they would not have otherwise made?

$20 can buy a mosquito net for a family.   That net could save the lives of parents and children.  It can allow a parent to work and make a living.  It can help a child go to school.  It can help a family live in health.

“To the world, you might be one person; but to one person, you might be the world” (Heather Cortez).

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Thinking about Chicken and Church

The United Methodist Church has come out with a new marketing campaign.  You may have seen one of the commercials.  “RETHINK CHURCH” they declare.  The idea is to think of church as a verb instead of a noun – a thing we do instead of a place we go.  It is a compelling idea, and it was clearly put together by a slick marketing team.  A team so slick, that I think KFC probably hired them to.

Has anyone else noticed the similarities between RETHINK CHURCH and UNTHINK CHICKEN? Besides the fact that, short of a Men in Black mind sweeping gadget or a lobotomy, I’m not sure how to unthink or rethink something (I mean, I know how to think, and I know how to change my mind, but isn’t changing one’s mind actually just another new thought?), couldn’t they have at least come up with different fonts – maybe something in a seriff. 

think

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