Here is the next installment in our series… from 19 September 2010
The file is large so it may take a minute to get going. Patience is one of the fruits, right?
Here is the next installment in our series… from 19 September 2010
The file is large so it may take a minute to get going. Patience is one of the fruits, right?
For the past few weeks, I have been teaching the Pine Castle UMC Vineyard Sunday School class on the Fruit of the Spirit and the Life in the Spirit. Some of the members asked if we could record the class. Here is my first attempt at posting the lesson. Just click on the link below and you should be able to hear the lesson!
Is it even possible? Why would you want to? They say, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ so I will show you with a few photos, “how” we did just that. And the “why”? It was our church’s (Pine Castle United Methodist Church) annual mission’s weekend called GIC or Global Impact Celebration. Kelly and I co-chaired the event with our Missions Pastor and many, many other volunteers.
Friday night was to be a world affair banquette with the movie “Peace Child,” and Sunday would feature our guest speaker, missionary and author – Don Richardson, followed by an Expo display of the missionaries and outreach ministries which our church supports.
First the expo draping went up to help disguise and soften the gymnasium walls. Tables were skirted in preparation for the Sunday Expo and stored to be used on Sunday. (Thanks Jeff for providing these for us!)
Backdrops from the Children’s department added color and definition to our ‘international’ theme. (Lee holds the ladder for Stephaney.)
Round tables were decorated (by a small army) for the banquet (thanks to Eleanor and her team). We were going for a South American ‘fiesta’ look with bright colors that popped, and colorful helium balloons to fill the dead space above the tables.
The perimeter of the gym would feature the International Market Place, displaying cultural artifacts and trinkets from around the world. Here Connie and Jeanette discuss how the Africa market will look.
An African ‘Safari’ look was the finished product (thanks Jeanette).
From Africa we transition into South America. Bright, happy and fun colors draws one into this village scene that could easily be Mexico or even Guatemala.
South America came alive thanks to Kim, Sondra & their team.
Next, we move into our Asian market (above and below photos).
This area included , China, Thailand, Myanmar and the country near and dear to my heart, Indonesia (two photos above), and the Marshal Islands & Japan (as seen below)
The Island Nations (above)
Stephaney and I are smiling because the work is done and we still have a half hour to change our clothes before the banquet starts.
Now, just add ‘people’, and let the festivities begin.
Volunteers like Marilyn and Liz served close to 200 people.
Our school chef, Patrick (in the black hat), outdid himself with an international meal that was amazing…from the pita bread & hummus to the couscous and adobo chicken with rice and more.
With the tables cleared, it’s now time to “let the program begin”. Kelly was the MC and the program began with a dramatic video of “Peace Child.”
It’s Don Richardson’s story of a primitive tribe of cannibals in Irian Jaya (Papua, Indonesia). The Sawi people honored & practiced treachery and betrayal and thus in the Gospel story (to Don’s dismay), chose Judas over Jesus as a hero. But hidden within their cultural, Don found a practice that would point them back to Jesus. It was the tradition of a ‘Peace Child.” When the chief’s only infant son was exchanged with the warring tribe for peace, Don was able to point them to Jesus, the perfect Peace Child. (Link to YouTube clip of Peace Child)
On Sunday, the round tables are replaced with the expo tables holding the displays put up by our missionaries. The missionaries line up in front of their tables waiting for the church members to enter.
Church members use their passports (found in their bulletin) to enter the expo and participate in the prize drawing later. They fill the aisles as they talk to the 40 some ministries attending and supported by PCUMC.
Some of our missionaries were unable to attend so church members volunteered to “represent” that person and share their ministry with others. Here, Jo shares with this couple about Suzanne’s work in Africa.
Our Guest Speaker, Don Richardson and his wife Carol join us at the Expo with their book table. (Books by Don Richardson: Eternity in Their Hearts, Peace Child, Lords of the Earth, Secrets of the Koran, Acting Without Agony and Unhidden)
And finally, a photo of Kelly standing in front of our Expo table, sharing about our ministry with fellow church member, Armand. (Kelly is wearing his Indonesian batik shirt and a black felt cap, or peci, as the Indonesians call it.)
One of our goals was to create an atmosphere that would help make missions more touchable for the people. The encouraging part was the great turn out of volunteers helping bring it all together. It was a lot of work, but it was all worth it. It was a fun time for all.
At 7:00 pm we closed the book table, did an inventory and by 9:00 pm had all the remaining books packed up and ready to ship back home. When we closed out the cash register, the sales for the day showed we had been successful in moving a lot of inventory into peoples hands. We were all quite pleased with the results, considering the current state of our economy.
Kelly and I were attending the Mission ConneXion Northwest, sponsored by the northwest area churches and held this year in Vancouver, WA. It’s a two day event challenging the Church to fulfill the Great Commission. We were there assisting Ken, our ACMC team member, with his book sales for the conference.
This event, with its 125 workshops, four leading keynote speakers, and inspirational worship sessions had something for everyone. The attendance count hasn’t been posted yet, but we are estimating around 6 to 7 thousand may have attended. (While it’s not as many as the 15,000 that has attended in previous years, it was a good attendance for the times.)
About 80 missions agencies set up exhibits providing information about work being done in countries around the world.
In between workshops and general sessions, the book table was a favorite gathering place where a wide variety of books about missions could be found.
We had 6 long tables stacked with books, videos, and other resources all pertaining to missions.
We love getting mission materials into peoples hands and to the churches. It was a great weekend for us in, even if it was rainy and cold. We even got to have lunch with a couple we hadn’t seen since 1986, back when we were living in Portland. Friends and missions, what a combination.
With the start of a new year, many of us are reflecting on the past year as we look to ‘what’s next’. I’m thinking back over three main events from the last 3 months of 2009.
The first event happened in October when we broke our record for ‘the number of new missionary going through our training program in one year’. Our 5th and last orientation program for the year had 29 new candidates bringing the years total to 158.
The second event was hosting this group of pastors and church leaders (shown below) for our November Church Partner Forum.
Even though it takes a lot of hard work to put it all together, it’s one of my most favorite events. The positive response and feed back from the participants makes it all worth while.
The third event, that just ended on New Year’s Eve, was Urbana 2009. What? You’ve never heard of Urbana?
Upwards to 20,000 young people (ages 17-30) attend this student missions conference sponsored every 3 years by InterVaristy Christian Fellowship. It started in 1946, and from 1948 to 2003 was held at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana… thus the name “Urbana”. Since 2006 it has been held at the St. Louis Conference Center in Missouri.
It’s amazing to see this many young people give up 5 days of their Christmas break for the opportunity to see, hear and respond to God’s global mission.
Kelly and I had the privilege to attend back in 1991, and were amazed by the zeal and commitment of these young people whose hearts are turned toward God and missions.
Pioneers sent a team from our office to represent our agency. The photo above was taken by one of our co-worker showing our world globe and Pioneers’ sign hanging over the heads of the participants.
Yes, 2009 has been a great year and we have great expectations for 2010. Our prayer for you is that 2010 will be a blessed year for you and your family. Happy New Year!
It was a great Thanksgiving and vacation! I know, everyone is already focusing on Christmas but I haven’t blogged for a while so I’m playing catch up. We tried something new on this trip…we “drove” from Orlando to Tennessee, instead of flying. Fourteen hours of driving in two days, at our age…need I say more? But it was all worth it.
What really made our trip great is that Kelly and I each got to do something we enjoy. For me it was, Thanksgiving with my family, for Kelly it was spending quality radio time in my parent’s back yard.
Mom roasted a beautiful 22 lb turkey and Dad did the carving. But that wasn’t all, my brother brought 3 turkeys, so we had deep fried turkey, smoked turkey, roasted turkey and all the trimmings.
I believe their were around 22 of us. The best part was that we were all able to sit together in one room.
Since we were all in one room, no one was sent off to another room to sit at the ‘little kids’ table. It really was one big happy gathering, kids and all. (Of course we all know that the little kids are the best part anyway.)
The next day, when the big event was over, there was plenty of time to talk and visit with family. (This is me, my sister and sister-in-law getting in some good girl talk with Mom.) It was a great relaxing weekend.
And as I mentioned, Kelly got his quality ‘radio time’. The best part for him was that he was able to put his antenna up in my parents back yard and leave it up the whole time we were there (something he can’t do in our condo setup in Florida). Each day he could just walk outside with his radio and start transmitting.
Of course this Florida resident wasn’t quite use to the below 40 degree weather, but it didn’t stop him. Even when the rain came, he just moved up to the deck and continued his fun.
Pumpkins on door stoops, fall colors of red and orange and willy-worms slowly crawling across the country roads, yes it was Indiana in October. And, I hardly noticed the low 40 and 50 degree temperatures. Well that may not be totally true, but it did feel like “home”. That’s because our Bicknell friends at Word of Life Church always treat us like family.
The missions conference was great, and we’re definitely a good 6 lbs heavier from all the down home cooking of Aunt Rita and the other great cooks from the church.
The theme for their conference was “Show Them Jesus” and the youth did an outstanding job with several dramas.
Even though it was a short trip we got to spend a little bit of time with Kelly’s mom and some friends of the family. Kelly’s brother and sisters will appreciate these photos since they didn’t get to join us.
All in all, it was a great trip. Of course, Kelly says the one thing that really topped it off was our flight home by way of Chicago O’Hare Airport. Why? Because he got to eat his Chicago Style Hot Dog, and he loved enjoyed every bite.
Grrrrrrrr. That’s what I heard all day Friday as Kelly prepared for Saturday and what he knew was going to be a bear of a day. As a matter of fact he turned into a Polar Bear on Saturday. Not just any Polar Bear, but he became #173 Polar Bear—as part of his radio buddies’ “Polar Bear QRP” Day.
Polar Bear Day happens only during months that end in “bear” as in Octo’bear’ and Novem’bear’, at least that’s the way it was explained to me. Anyway, I haven’t mentioned much about his ham radio hobby so I thought I’d share a couple of photos with you.
He set up his antenna and radio in our neighborhood lakeside park. He talked to a few “bears” from other states and even heard some Europe stations, a few German and Scandanavians also.
This is his portable radio set up.
And here you can see Kelly tuning in to get a clear transmission. He had a great Polar Bear day and can ‘bearly’ wait for the next one. For more details you can visit his radio blog at: K4UPG.com
Two weeks back, our church service at Pine Castle United Methodist Church (PCUMC) started as it normally does, with praise and worship, followed by the offering. But ‘normal’ stopped there. An outsider might have been shocked by what happened next. We all got up and left the sanctuary, some 400 of us. We walked out the front door.
Let me back up and explain a few things. The situation with our economy is affecting everyone in one way or another. Our church is among those to be counted as struggling to stand our ground. So much of what has happened in this past year and a half would discourage most, and yet we continue to see the Lord at work in many different ways.
In February 2008 I showed this picture of our church in one of my first blogs.
And then in an April blog, I announced that on Easter Sunday we had moved into our new sanctuary.
As you can imagine, this beautiful building has become a bit of a financial challenge for us during these hard times.
A lot of hope had been placed on selling the old sanctuary, but we all know what has happened to Florida’s real-estate business. A deal that had been in the works in early 2008; crumpled by the end of that summer. Everything seemed to dry up after that and looked hopeless.
And then all at once in June of this year, we had an offer from a group to “lease with an option to buy”. In July our church membership, through our Charge Conference, voted unanimously to accept the offer. By August the members of Greater Trinity Baptist Fellowship Church of Orlando were moved in and starting services. We are thrilled with our new neighbors. They have joined us in many of our activities, like our Pot Luck Night and our ladies functions.
So, when we walked out of our Sanctuary two Sundays ago, all 400 of us marched across the street and joined our brothers and sisters in their Celebration Service. It was a grand time. A Baptist Church and a Methodist Church, one African American and one not so much, rejoiced in what the Lord had done. Hallelujah.
I forgot to take our camera but Kelly came to the rescue with his cell phone. He was able to capture this shot of the two Pastor’s wives standing in front of their husbands who are giving each other a brotherly hug.
Our two pastors are becoming good friends and we all look forward to getting to know each other better. Both churches hope to find shared projects that will allow us to work together for the good of our community.
How does the phrase; ‘swaying coconut palms, sweeping white-sand beaches and spectacular sunsets,’ grab you? Well, that’s what we found on our recent trip to Naples, Florida. We were attending a regional event held by the ministerial association that ordained Kelly.
It was a much needed and timely weekend get-a-way for us. The meetings were refreshing, the food delicious and our accommodations great. As you can see by the first photo, Kelly was able to set up his ham radio from the balcony of our hotel room. From this balcony, I got some sun, he got some radio time…and we both enjoyed the view!
The highlight of the trip had to be the sunset dinner cruise they arranged for all of us to take on the Naples Princess Yacht. This is one of those things we never would have done on our own, so it was a real treat.
We sailed out of Naples bay and cruised into the Gulf of Mexico. From the bow of the deck we could see the dolphins playing and the multimillion-dollar homes of Port Royal lining the shore. Unbelievable!
We were served a great dinner inside where it was nicely air-conditioned, and then went back out on the deck to watch the beautiful sunset and enjoy the fresh air.
After dinner we went out on the deck for a better view of the water and sunset.
What was striking was to watch the sunset change as the sun got closer and closer to the horizon.
Our regional director hosted the event at his church and his staff definitely took care of all of us with excellence.
As you can imagine, we can’t wait to find out what the next regional event will be like. They set the bar pretty high so it will be hard to top this one.