Archive - December, 2010

"The Final Great Awakening – An Endtime Revival".: The Circuit Rider vs The Televangelist

“The Final Great Awakening – An Endtime Revival”.: The Circuit Rider vs The Televangelist

The Global Connection in Action

I just returned from a walk around our building. I do this every so often.

Frankly, it serves my own purposes more than anything else. I am surrounded by committed, creative, wonderful people, and to have the chance to chat with them is a real picker-upper.

Here’s why: I learned that a young woman who saw a video profile we posted on the web was moved to call the producer to ask for contact information because she “wanted to turn her life around.”

The two were connected and vetted each other, and she’s considering going on a mission trip to Liberia as an assistant to a team of dental practitioners.

Another person sent a note explaining how he is using a video on HIV/AIDS that we posted before World AIDS Day to convene an interfaith group to address HIV/AIDS in his city.

And we heard from a group in Kalamazoo that registrations for a Kalamazoo Christmas event are up over last year as a result of widespread coverage through Rethink Church advertising.

The author of the children’s book, “A Kalamazoo Christmas”, learned of the event and donated a couple of hundred copies to the event. (She said she’s never been to Kalamazoo, by the way, but she found the name intriguing.)

Interestingly, more than half (54 percent) of the volunteers for this community service event are not affiliated with a local church, reinforcing the idea that disciple-making today comes, in part, through mission engagement.

I received an e-mail from a writer in Bangkok who wanted to renew contact with a photographer who had done some work that we had posted on women in Sudan. Our staff helped them re-connect.

There are days when the value of the global connection of The United Methodist Church is manifestly clear to me. And it is a strength that supports and sustains meaningful human community and personal growth.

Today was one of those days.

Conversation sparks energy around life-and-death issue

Have you ever been in a conversation that gave your thoughts permission to soar? One that you knew was important and filled with meaning even as it continued?

I was in a conversation like this recently. We were talking about the creative treatment of the Imagine No Malaria campaign.

This campaign seeks to put an end to deaths caused by malaria. Every 45 seconds, the disease takes the life of someone in Africa–a child, mother or father. It’s been around perhaps as long as we’ve walked upright.

The conversation brought us to discuss new ways of bringing the message to those of us in the U.S. and Europe where malaria isn’t a problem.

The challenge is how to convey the seriousness of its effects.

The conversation was focused and everyone engaged. There were no side comments or cynical diversions that undercut the concern, as often occurs in meetings.

It became a conversation about life and death and how to communicate about it. Strange as it sounds, it was not heavy and ponderous. In fact, it was uplifting, creative and soaring.

It was a conversation about life and how to contribute to and engage with others in a mission to make life better—not in a way that is self-gratifying, but by comprehending how we are all interconnected and responsible for each other.

Conversations like this make my day.