Snap Shots from South Africa
Ever since the creation of the world God’s eternal power and
divine nature invisible though they are, have been understood and seen
through the things God has made. – Romans 1:20
Scientists point to South Africa as the “cradle of humanity.” On my recent first-time visit to this home of giraffes and wort hogs, I took time to appreciate that my own body was now seeing the colors of the landscape, hearing bird sounds I had never heard before and eating vegetables grown out of this unique and sacred ground. The shape and size of the trees surprised me – quirky and short. The night sky was clear, so we could see the Southern Cross and the cloudy Milky Way. The people we met had a certain “sweetness” about them that was calming and kind.
I traveled there to be with my family at the International Choir Games (google it). Being with a busload of college singers (including my niece and nephew), their director (my sister-in-law) and their videographer (my brother) was the best vacation I’ve had in a long time! Three hundred choirs from 60 countries came to share their music and commune with one another. Between the scheduled Friendship Concerts and the more serious adjudicated performances, choirs would spontaneously sing to one another in the streets, malls and cafeterias. I said to a professor who was traveling with the group, “This is the Kingdom of Heaven.” No matter the languages, cultures and politics of our home countries, we were there in the name of music, beauty and friendship.
If you haven’t touched and fed an elephant before, you may not know that their trunk is warm due to their breath, and when you feed them, you can feel that warm breath and touch the whiskers that start at the trunk and cover the whole body. And the “hairs” at the tip of their tails are thick and tough.
We walked among people who live without electricity in the township of Soweto. We saw the hostels and matchbox housing in the slums. Children came to us begging for money; a teen sang to us holding out his hat. Along the main road there were artisans selling their wares. The area of Soweto has a long and painful history of racism – before, during and after apartheid. We visited the site where high school students were killed by police during the 1976 “Soweto Uprising.”
Soweto came to the world’s attention on 16 June 1976 with the “Soweto Uprising,” when mass protests erupted over the government’s policy to enforce education in Afrikaans rather than their native language. Police opened fire in Orlando West on 10,000 students marching from Naledi High School to Orlando Stadium. — Wikipedia
It is a privilege to travel. It takes 13 rand to match an American dollar. The people we met would not have the resources to travel to our country. “But that is the way our world is,” one office manager told me.
We visited Mandella’s home, hearing of his life, imprisonment, release and the difference this man made for South Africa. Another story of death and resurrection.
One final note: on a safari, we learned how to survive an Ostridge attack. They only kick straight out with their long, powerful legs, so you are safe if you get down on the ground. There is a sermon in there somewhere. It reminds me of Jesus’ counter-intuitive words about the kingdom of heaven: it is like the tiniest seed; it is like a small bit of yeast in a large amount of flour. When the powers of evil seem unstoppable, there is yet hope. Keeping our wits and perspective allows us to lie down, when our first reaction is to stand and fight or try to outrun the ostridge.
In Faith with You,
Life Scout Eric Schmalzried decided to create a beautiful raised garden around the driveway entrance sign for his Eagle Project. The raised garden will “mirror” the raised garden around the marquee sign that was an Eagle Project a few years ago. Eric is a member of Lincroft Presbyterian Church. He is a member of Troop 86 which is sponsored by Old Brick Reformed Church.
Eric completed his project in June, has completed the last of the 21 merit badges and will turn 18 in July. Way to go Eric! He has graduated from high school and will be attending Rowan University to study mechanical engineering in the fall. We all wish him success.
We are all very proud of this fine young man and his journey in scouting.
NEWS from the Community Outreach Group
On June 13th, Bess Williams and Marianne Ziegler attended the Community Outreach Group (COG) Meeting at Westminister Presbyterian Church. Jane Chou was also there as she is the Coordinator of the Emergency Assistance Fund for the Community Outreach Group. Most local churches are a member of this organization and this way our donations and efforts are pooled to help local organizations
- Calico Cat needs a volunteer (teens are fine) to commit to an hour or two a week to help with breaking down cardboard boxes and transporting them to the Kanes Lane Recycling facility. This can be scheduled any time during the week when Calico Cat is open. There hours are: M-F 9:30 – 2:30 & Sat 10:30 – 2:30. Contact Pat Brown or Judy Guarino at Calico Cat (732-671-0550) to set up the volunteer effort. The food pantry will be giving community service hours for this task if a teen does it.
- The Cupboard needs: summer children’s shorts/tops and Women’s size Large summer clothes. Additionally they still need queen sized sheets.
- The Pantry needs: Plastic containers of Juice and plastic containers of jelly (no glass jars).
- The Food Pantry still needs an early morning person on Wednesday to help with distribution of food.
- Jane Chou still needs help at EAF. In the last quarter March – May, EAF helped 48 families with an average of $373 per family. EAF distributed $17,919 over the past three months.
- The Hatfield Car Repair fund is looking for recommendations for Car repair facilities.
- The next meeting of COG is Tuesday, September 11th at 7:00 pm at Holmdel Community Church.
- Below – the list of donations from COG for Mid-Year 2018.
|Non-Profit||Amount distributed June 2018|
|Aslan Youth Ministries||$2,000|
|The Backpack Crew||$1,000|
|Ecumenical Missionary (Monks)||$3,800|
|Family Promise of Monmouth County||$2,000|
|Bayshore Lunch Program (Keyport)||$1,000|
|Keyport Ministerium Food Pantry||$1,000|
|St. Ann’s Day Care||$1,500|
|Monmouth Day Care||$1,500|
|St. Mark’s Kitchen||$1,000|
|Parker Family Health Clinic||$1,000|
|Emergency Assistance Fund (COG)||$5,000|
LPC Fellowship Night – Lakewood BlueClaws
On Friday, June 15th, eleven LPC fans and friends enjoyed a night of good times, ballpark food and great fellowship at First Energy Park during the Lakewood BlueClaws Faith and Family Night.
A great game – although the Blue Claws lost (4 to 3) to the Hickory Crawdads, the game was close all the way to the end. BlueClaws outhit Crawdads 12 to 9 – a hollow victory. We even had a Casey at the Bat situation in the top of the first inning when, with the bases loaded and two outs, Spencer Howard of the BlueClaws struck out the final Hickory batter to blank the Crawdads.
There was the usual Lakewood inter-inning silliness, the pork roll egg & cheese race, the dreaded eyeball race, an off-key singer leading us in Take Me Out to the Ball Game, t-shirt toss, etc. This Faith and Family night was also Girl Scout night, Christmas with Santa Claus, and so many Christmas songs – in June!
A pitcher on his day off was sitting in front of us with his radar gun recording pitch velocity of his team’s pitchers. Three young women, who sat close to us in the stands, went on the field to beautifully sing God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch. And, since it was a Friday at the ball park, we ended up with another excellent fireworks display after the game.
Community Outreach Group, Inc.
96 Kings Highway, P.O. Box 4041
Middletown, NJ 07748/span>
Calico Cat Food Pantry and Cupboard
Back To School Children Outreach
Aug 26 – Sept 30
Whenever you are able,
do good to people who need help.
July 23, 2018
Dear friends in Christ,
As the summer is closing down and the thought of kids going back to school, it is sometimes troubling to many low-income parents. The thought of buying school clothes with little extra money to go around. The Calico Pantry and Cupboard through the Back To School outreach has been helping the clients who come to us on a regular basis with new underwear and socks. Parents with school age children receive a $25 Payless shoe certificate and a $25 Target or Old Navy certificate for each child along with new socks and new underwear.
The Community Outreach Group Church congregations have faithfully helped us to make this happen though your financial support and we hope we can count on you again. This is our 21st year of providing this much needed ministry to our low-income neighbors.
God continues to sustain us for the work here on earth to serve all of God’s people who
come to us in need. Your continued partnership with us is a blessing.
With grateful thanks,
Coordinator, Calico Food Pantry & Cupboard
Make checks payable to:
Lincroft Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 328, Lincroft 07738
Donations accepted through – Sept 30
Please mark your check as: ” Back To School”
Visit us at: 270 Everett Rd, Lincroft NJ 07738
Send mail to: PO Box 328, Lincroft NJ 07738
Send package deliveries to: 270 Everett Rd, Lincroft NJ 07738
Contact us by email