26 March 2008
We actually thought we had missed winter this year - or, rather, that it had missed us. I shaved my chin and had my hair cut about two weeks ago thinking Spring was just around the corner. As the snow piles up outside our window and on the street I think I should have waited another week or so before the Spring shearing. Oh well, I have a nice hat and a scarf...
23 March 2008
19 March 2008
So that was my little joke that helped me laugh through the day and all that is has been... Even when we try our best or even do our best, people are going to look befuddled - and make us wonder "What am I doing? Should I even be here? Maybe I should just do something else....
10 March 2008
I (dan) received some sad news on Saturday. My Uncle Joe (my grandma's youngest brother - by 17 years, and to my knowledge her only surviving sibling) passed away. I didn't spend a lot of time with him, yet the time we did spend was memorable. The dry cleaning shop we would visit on summer vacations off the boardwalk in Atlantic City - the Italian food - the gold chains... I just wanted to say that Uncle Joe D'Amico will be missed.
The photo shows me, Uncle Joe, Uncle Flav (my mom's brother), and Auntie Alice (Joe's wife).
05 March 2008
Humility, Mercy, and Justice: a call for holistic ministry in every community
Poverty affects all of our communities, whether we encounter a poverty of physical resources or a poverty of tenuous connections.
We, representatives from the Nordic and Baltic area of the United Methodist Church and its institutions, gathered in Latvia in March 2008 to share from our stories – our joys and our challenges – in ministry, specifically in the areas related to children and vulnerable families.
We acknowledge that poverty results from scarcity – whether a lack of physical resources, a lack of spiritual formation, or a lack of emotional nurture – and this poverty affects all of our communities.
We believe that our rich Biblical heritage and our Wesleyan theological and spiritual tradition challenge our lives, congregations, and ministries to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly (cf. Micah 6:8) among the children and the vulnerable both within our immediate milieux and throughout the entire world.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds us that the
We encourage Acts of Piety (celebrating the sacraments and participating in the life of worship) and Acts of Mercy (meeting immediate and tangible physical, spiritual, and emotional needs), yet we also acknowledge that these two remain incomplete without Acts of Justice (cf. James 2:14-17).
In our Wesleyan tradition, salvation involves the work of reconciling humanity’s broken relationship with God, and salvation in Wesleyan tradition also means that those who engage in Acts of Piety, Acts of Mercy, and Acts of Justice participate in God’s holy and salvific work of healing the world.
To this end, we would want to challenge our Methodist brothers and sisters, as individuals and as congregations, to engage in dialogue (Christian conferencing) around our Social Principles in order to see the children and vulnerable anew and to hear a fresh challenge of engaging the unjust social structures that adversely affect the children and vulnerable throughout God’s creation.
03 March 2008
This past weekend we attended (and helped to host) a Diaconal Conference for the Northern European United Methodist Churches. [Diaconal work encompasses the work of the Deacon, which in the UMC most often means working to feed the hungry, visit the sick and imprisoned, assist the poor, etc... for an example look in the Bible in Acts chapter 6 when the church chose seven people to look after the needs of the brothers and sisters.] On Friday we took a group of 50 people to see one of the Hope Center buildings. [The Hope Center is a home for vulnerable single girls (literally, as they are usually around 15 years-old when they arrive) who want to keep their babies, yet they have no support network. Most of the girls got pregnant while in an orphanage or by being ravaged on the street...]
We took the girls and their babies with us to the other Hope Center building - on board the 'normal' purple bus. One girl stepped onto the bus with her baby and her eyes grew as wide as saucers. "Wow - this is soo pretty. This is sooo cool." This was also the nicest bus on which she had ever traveled.
I started to think about how many things I take for granted - a been there, seen that, done that mentality. I'm thankful that I took time to marvel at the double rainbow later in the day, along with the burning sunset ringed by rain clouds... I need to take time to wonder and marvel every day - even to see joy in a purple bus.