Thursday, September 29, 2011

A tribute to Margie Powell

Our family is mourning the passing of Margie Powell, my Dad’s only sister. In visiting with her last Thursday my sister said Margie wanted to go to sleep like her mother did when she passed away. She did so last weekend after a ten year struggle with cancer.

Her funeral was today at the Methodist church in Terrill, Iowa. I wasn’t able to attend as I’ve been attending a church conference this week with five other people from Chain of Lakes Church.

Margie was the oldest in her family. She enjoyed and endured having five younger brothers. The above picture is with her five brothers. She lived most of her life on farms in northwest Iowa. She helped on the farm when she was growing up and then helped run a farm with her husband, Vern. She taught Home Economics and Art in the local schools and also worked as the school librarian.

Margie had a tremendous work ethic. She helped Vern, with the farm work, especially during planting season. She picked rocks every year. She always had an immaculate house and loved to cook and sew. She sewed clothes for her ten granddaughters. My Dad shared that at the funeral the pastor told about how the chemotherapy affected her hands so that she could not handle sewing very well, especially the small detail work. After the death of Vern, she was the primary care giver for her mother-in-law, Irene Powell. She sometimes read a book in a day.

Despite battling cancer for ten year, being tired because of the treatments and losing her hair many times she hardly ever complained. The chemotherapy affected her ability to ward off infections, and it was an infection which eventually took her life.

My Dad shared with me how Margie accepted responsibility. When she was a high-school senior, her parents took a long trip to Alaska. She was primarily responsible for all the household chores for her five brothers. Her mom and dad could trust her with this responsibility.

Margie was very dedicated to her family. I rarely ever remember attending a family event when she wasn’t present. If anyone in her family needed help, Margie was there. She attended almost every wedding or special celebration of her nephews and nieces. She attended my wedding, ordination and installation services. Our family has many special memories of family gatherings on her farm near Terrill. We all squeezed into her house, laughed, and enjoyed each other’s company.

Praise God for the life of Margie Powell!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Diversity Village

Last week I received an E-mail with the following information. I found the information to be so compelling that I decided to share it on this blog.

If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following:

There would be:
57 Asians
21 Europeans
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both North and South
8 Africans

52 would be female
48 would be male

70 would be nonwhite
30 would be white

70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian

89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual

6 would possess 59% of the entire world’s wealth, and all but 1 would be from the U.S.

80 would live in substandard housing

70 would be unable to read

50 would suffer from malnutrition

1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth

1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education

1 would own a computer

When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rally Day at Chain of Lakes Church

We have a terrific Rally Day scheduled at Chain of Lakes Church for this Sunday, September 18. Rally Day is the day that faith communities come together to launch their fall ministry season. Usually Rally Day is held the Sunday after Labor Day, but our congregation decided to commemorate the ten year anniversary of 9-11 last Sunday. It seemed too much to mix Rally Day with that commemoration.

We have some exciting opportunities for children this Sunday at Rally Day. Bill Eisenmann, a professional story teller, will be with us. During the Time of Children and during Sunday School he will share stories about friendship. After worship the children will enjoy a carnival with a Rocket Bounce House, games and food.

We also have some exciting opportunities for adults this Sunday at Rally Day. I am starting a sermon series called, “Being Friends in a Facebook world.” The sermon will be shared by more than me—a surprise speaker will also share. Jennifer Huehns has created a video of the ministries at Chain of Lakes Church that we will enjoy. On Sunday we will announce two different small group opportunities that we are offering this fall at Chain of lakes.

Everyone at Chain of Lakes is encouraged to bring a friend to worship. Our office mailed 1,000 postcards to a targeted group of people in our area about Rally Day at Chain of Lakes. The front of the post card is the picture at the top of this blog. I’m hopeful to see many new faces at worship.

I can’t think of a better place to be than worship at Chain of Lakes this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. I wish the day and time were here right now!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September Presbytery meeting, Twin Cities Area Presbytery

Yesterday I left around 1:30 p.m. for the September Presbytery meeting of the Twin Cities Area Presbytery that was held in Austin, Minnesota. This was the second meeting in the row where Presbyterians in the Twin Cities have had the opportunity to travel into the Area. (Still hoping that the name of our Presbytery will be changed.) The day was a beautiful one to be on the road.

I had the privilege of having John Ivers ride with me to the meeting. During Presbytery he shared some personal reflections about his involvement in church development. John has given much of his time during the last decade to church development in our Presbytery. Every new church development and re-development in our Presbytery has been buoyed by his leadership. Chain of Lakes Church would not exist if he hadn’t persevered with the desire he had to see a new Presbyterian church in the north Metro.

When we arrived at the Presbyterian Church in Austin, I quickly found my tablemate, Martha Rockenstein. We've been sharing a table at most of the recent Presbytery meetings. She talks to people about Presbyterian, Christian education materials, and I distribute the most recent newsletter of Chain of Lakes Church. We both enjoyed talking to people as they arrived at the meeting. I was particularly heartened to talk to John Curtiss—the new pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Plainview.

During the meeting the Church Development Team announced that the proposal for property purchase for Chain of Lakes Church has been turned down by the sellers. Many people at the meeting shared their disappointment with me. I responded by saying that I’m not really that disappointed. We have many good properties we are looking at for Chain of Lakes. The negotiations for these properties change almost daily. Saddleback Church—the largest church in America—didn’t have property for the first ten years of their existence. Having property would be a big benefit to the ministry of Chain of Lakes, but I believe it will happen on God’s time. That could take place next month or longer.

The meeting got off track during the Committee on Preparation for Ministry (CPM) report. The CPM presented Kerri Allen as ready for ordination. The final step on her ordination process is to be examined by a Presbytery. The CPM proposed that the Presbytery of Chicago (she has a call within that Presbytery) conduct the examination. The Presbytery quickly became bogged down in a debate about whether our Presbytery or the Presbytery of Chicago should conduct her examination.

This is the type of polity question that some people love talking about deep into the night. However most people don’t understand the issues surrounding it and wonder why we tangle ourselves in such debates at Presbytery meetings. I would much rather talk about how to deepen discipleship in our churches or debate how to reduce the poverty rate in our country—which is now 15%. Fortunately (after a barely tolerable amount of debate) the Presbytery voted to let the Presbytery of Chicago conduct Kerri’s examination.

I enjoyed the wonderful dinner that the saints from the Austin church prepared for us. During dinner I had the privilege of talking to a retired psychologist from that church. After dinner a youth band from the Austin church shared a beautiful song. After singing “Here I Am” John and I left for our two hour sojourn back to the north Metro.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day of School

No matter if we have children at home or not the first day of school connects all of us. Each of us has a stake in the success of the education of your children and youth.

Our daughter Hannah entered fifth grade this morning. I shared with her what happened on my own first day of school in fifth grade. I remember getting re-acquainted with many of my classmates after going to school in Kansas City. One of my closet friends, Jeff Gravon, gave me an appropriate guys welcome—cuffing me in the back of the head. At the end of the school day my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Basche, was asked if our class would have any homework. Everyone groaned. We then cheered when she said that we wouldn’t have to take anything home.

We had a typical first-day of school in the Moore household. We took pictures of Hannah; she asked us if I was going to take a video—which I’ve done before. We shared other first-day-of-school stories—in particular we laughed about the day when Amy told the bus driver that he had to change the location of the bus stop.

We had typical confusion in our neighborhood. A bus pulled up ten minutes early to the bus stop. I went over to talk to the bus driver. While talking to him he discovered he had the wrong address. That prevent many of the adults of the kids in our neighborhood from wondering if they were late. The bus that finally did pick the kids up was at a different corner from last year and was traveling a different direction. We adults wondered if that would work—change is difficult!

Here’s wishing a wonderful year to all students, teachers, administrators and all others who have devoted their lives to education!