“Brushing Shoulders with Jesus”
Several from LPC attended this year’s training in Metuchen on Feb. 10.
Jesus called fishermen to be fishers OF men. As Christ’s fishers of people, light of the world and salt of the earth, there are Christian projects going on right now to dismantle the structures that keep people disrespectful, separated and afraid of one another. We are creating community and building relationships that would not have existed before. And in the process, we are bringing hope, well-being and transformation into the world.
The key note speaker at Equipping the Saints, Rev. Deb Swift, spoke of her congregation saying:
You’ve heard it said, “Give someone a fish, they eat for a day. Teach someone to fish, they eat for a life time.”
Our church has learned to say, “Don’t just teach them to fish: go fishing with them. Our ministries are all about being relational.”
It is all about being relational. Think of who has made the most difference to you in your relationship to God. Christian spiritual growth comes from the relationships we have with others who are in relationship with Jesus. If you wonder what God is like, look at Jesus. If you wonder what Jesus is like, look at those who are like Christ. People who are Christ-like empty themselves of privilege, power and ego in order to build, heal, and share the Good News of God’s love in Christ, and build strong communities. These are called “citizens of the Kingdom of God.”
This is why in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “one doesn’t hide a lamp; let your light shine!”
In what ways do we shine, as a congregation, and as the small groups within a congregation? Where are we sparking and developing relationships with others? A few representatives from LPC are in a relationship with the Congregations Outreach Group (COG) board members. A few LPC-ers are in a relationship with the leaders and volunteers of Family Promise. You who come and sit at dinner with Family Promise guests are in a relationship with the people; you are “present” to them: listening, conversing around the table, or playing with the children.
What would it look like if our small groups, already in existence, connected with the community around us? Not by making headlines or putting a clever message on the lawn sign, but by actually being present with others?
This kind of engagement brings committed Christians into the lives of the community. The people in the community, as Rev. Swift puts it, “brush shoulders with Jesus” when they are with intentional Christians.
THE ASK: Session and the Evangelism & Church Growth Team are asking you, dear reader, how you imagine your small group or our congregation brushing shoulders with our community neighbors.
Send an email to any of these* people, or to the LPC main office (LPC.email@example.com). (*Frank M., Judy M., Larry S., Patti D., Phil T., Rob Z., Sarah L., Steve I, Susan G., Tim N.)
— Pastor Diane
New Revised 2020 Schedule
of Community Outreach Group (COG) Churches
for Saturday Calico Cat Food Pantry & Cupboard
The Calico Cat Food Pantry & Cupboard sponsors a Food Pantry for working income families on the 2nd Saturday morning of each month from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Cleaning items and personal care items are among the items we give to each family. We anticipate as many as 20 families. We are asking help from our participating churches to donate 20 orders of these items once a year.
- 6 rolls toilet paper
- 1 container of dish detergent
- 1 container of laundry detergent
- 2 boxes of tissues
- 1 box of plastic wrap
- 1 container of liquid kitchen/bathroom cleaner
- 1 deodorant (every other month Jan, Mar, May, July, Sept, Nov)
- 1 shampoo (every other month Feb, April, June, Aug, Oct, Dec)
- 2 tubes of toothpaste
- 3 bars of bath soap
Note – 1 separate bag of donated feminine personal products
April is LPC’s cleaning supply month so collections will start Sunday, March 15th and end Sunday, April 5th. Whole, partial or monetary donations are greatly appreciated.
Thank you in behalf of Calico Cat,
Balm in Gilead
Hi, Pastor Diane,
You mentioned coronavirus in your sermon this past Sunday, Interestingly, I have been watching… very closely and would like to share with you something you may have known.
When the first case came to the US in Washington state, they didn’t know what to do. They decided to use Remdesivir experimentally with compassionate cause. Remdesivir was originally developed for Ebola virus and the result was not so effective. It was developed by a company called Gilead Sciences. The company name lead me to Jeremiah 8:22: Is there no balm in Gilead. is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? The founder of Gilead Sciences, Dr. Michael Riordan, was inspired by the Middle East history of balm in Gilead as medication. This was the reason he named the company Gilead Sciences.
As to the benefit of this medication for this coronavirus infection, Gilead Sciences is doing a double study to find out one way or another. In the first case in US I mentioned, the patient sought medical help on Jan. 19 and was diagnosed on Jan. 21, he was given Remdesivir and subsequently was discharged home by Feb. 4. Though he improved after the medication, it was only one case which was too early to conclude the effectiveness. This is the reason Gilead Sciences is running further study.
Balm of Gilead was a rare perfume used medicinally, that was mentioned in the Bible, and named for the region of Gilead, where it was produced. The expression stems from William Tyndale’s language in the King James Bible of 1611, and has come to signify a universal cure in figurative speech.
Praying for Medical Personnel
Righteous God in Heaven, You Who are the Great Physician, thank You for blessing my friend/family member who is in the hospital with such a good staff and even though it seems we often have to wait, at least here we have better facilities and staff than most of the world does. Please forgive me for so often taking these things for granted. I ask you to bless the staff, the work of their hands, the people who do so much for so many. I would ask to have these blessings be especially poured out on the doctors and the nurses so that they can perform to the best of their abilities for the benefit of my friend/family member and for others. So many depend on them and I know I take them for granted so bless them and I thank You for them and in Jesus’ most holy Name, Amen. – by Rev. Jack Wellman
2020 OR BUST
The mission of 2020 or Bust is to empower ordinary people to end the climate crisis. Most people see climate change as too complex, too big, something “out there” for governments or institutions to deal with and resolve, something we can get to later, all of which leaves people in a trance of hope, denial, best efforts, gestures and business as usual.
To wake people from that trance is the job of 2020 or Bust; to bring the reality of ending the crisis into the global consciousness and with it, the power for people everywhere to step up and make the critical difference. We are not on track to end the crisis in time, and the next 14 months is our critical window of opportunity in which to radically reverse the emissions trend if we are to get on track. If 500 million people take the right carbon-reducing actions, we can bridge the critical 2020 gap. 2020 or Bust is out to mobilize those 500 million – the biggest and most important citizen engagement campaign in history. More National Lampoon than National Geographic, this ain’t no boring climate change campaign.
DOWNLOAD THE APP
JOIN 2679 GLOBAL USERS
- The app is a tool to educate, engage, and empower people to take on carbon-reducing actions in their life. They are also encouraged to share the app and the carbon-reducing mission with their friends, family, and contacts.
- The app is highly customizable and designed to be used within communities. Each community can quickly create their own version, with actions, sharing, and memes tailored to that community.___
Hi! We are well into 2020. And I am wondering: How is your New Year’s resolution going?
My plan for the New Year was to tread more lightly on the planet with some personal changes. Specifically, I wanted my family to eat mostly plant-based food, moving away from carbon-intensive meat.
I have long felt that I can do more to lower my family’s carbon footprint and have felt guilty that I haven’t done more. The New Year felt just as good a time as any to increase my efforts.
But as I started reading about the climate impacts of meat, I started wondering: Are changing personal habits enough to make a difference? Why are we, as individuals, asked to change our lifestyles when the climate crisis is arguably not due to personal deficiency? Our power as consumers is strong but asking individuals to bear the burden of global warming can shift responsibility and accountability away from those causing the vast majority of climate change.
Consider this: A recent report found that just 100 companies are responsible for a whooping 71% of global emissions since 1988. Incredibly, only 25 corporations and state-owned entities were responsible for more than half of global industrial emissions in that same period. Most of these are coal and oil producing companies and include ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, Gazprom, and the Saudi Arabian Oil Company.
And so I wondered: What can I do, as an individual, that actually matters, and what do we need to do together to slow the increasingly destructive effects of climate change?
We here at GreenFaith have been thinking long and hard about how we most strategically push the levers of power to have the most impact – individually and collectively.
Here is where we come down on this: it’s not EITHER/OR, it’s YES…AND.
Of course, we need to consume less and choose more low-carbon alternatives. But individual choices will most count when we also come together in bold collective movements to hold accountable those who cause the greatest damage. Here is how we are thinking about this:
YES, low-carbon individual choices are important. Here are three reasons:
- Our consumer choices – think of us as the demand side – can add up. For example, the last IPPC report on climate change from the UN notes that agriculture accounts for 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cattle and rice fields alone are responsible for roughly half of all methane emissions. The same report is blunt about the need for a decrease in meat consumption and an embrace of more plant-based diets. Those diets are less resource-intensive and associated with fewer greenhouse gas emissions. So, yes: Going all in on the vegetables is important!
- As important as the carbon impact of our individual choices, though, is the fact that every act like foregoing meat is changing norms with a wider knock-on effect that influences others, and shifts what is viewed as ‘normal.’ To give you an example: In a survey that a researcher conducted in 2018, an impressive half of the respondents who knew someone who has given up flying because of climate change said they, in turn, fly less. Around three quarters said it had changed their attitudes towards flying and climate change in some way. And these effects increased if a famous person had given up flying.
- Taking a bold position (like becoming a vegan or giving up flying) really distills the link between values and actions. And, as you well know as a person of faith: It’s important to live a life where values and actions align. That also makes us much more credible messengers when we speak about the importance of action on climate change.
So – talk about what you are changing in your life in response to climate change. It may have a powerful ripple effect. (That’s especially true if you happen to be famous!) And it feels good and honorable to live a life where your actions follow your values.
For me this confirmed that being a responsible low-carbon consumer is not only doable but rewarding on many levels.
But I also know that only big and bold collective movements have the power to alter the trajectory of the climate crisis.
AND: Here is the good news! Our human need to come together is strong, and our collective imagination is vast.
We at GreenFaith are hard at work to launch a bold and moral global movement of people of faith and spirit – coming together at every kitchen table, in every house of worship, by the millions – to together build our power and a good life connected.
So, by all means, eat more kale, fly less, and bike more. That treads more lightly on the planet and will make you happier and healthier, for sure. And join us as we come together this Spring to build a beautiful, strong, and effective movement of people of faith and spirit.
Rev Fletcher Harper
It is much easier than you think to make a difference
Give Back Box® provides services to retailers and charities, giving each and every cardboard box a “second life” to help people in need.
So it is also a ‘green’ solution! Reuse the online shipping boxes you received, or any other cardboard box you may have, to donate your unwanted household items: such as gently used clothing, shoes etc. This will make a major difference in another person’s life.
How it Works
- UNPACK your merchandise from the box.
- FILL the box with clothing and household goods you no longer need.
- GIVE GENEROUSLY
- STUFF the box fully
- SEAL the box securely with tape, not twine.
- ATTACH the pre-paid shipping label to the box.
- SEND / SHIP it as usual
Thank you for being CHARITABLE!!
Thank you for RECYCLING BOXES!! You helped to save the trees and the Energy used to make the boxes.
GOOD STEWARDSHIP for everyone!!
FOSSIL FREE INVESTING AND FINANCIAL RETURNS
If you are interested in changing from Fossil Fuel to Clean Energy
Joanne and Earth Care Congregation
ESCAPING TO THE BEACH?
Instead of shells and other treasures, collect undesirable items scattered about the shoreline, such as forgotten toys, abandoned containers, and napkins seized by the wind, anything can make its way into the ocean – polluting the water and threatening its inhabitants, who may mistake it for food or become entangled.
Whatever you accumulate, dispose of it in the appropriate recycling or trash bin.