Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Does DOING Weigh you Down? Come Spend a Day Just BEING!"

One of the founding principals of the Village as a community of faith is going to be balance. Ensuring the proper balance in our lives is a key to be a disciple of Christ. Jesus did not just go out and do good deeds. He took the time not only to pray himself but also taught his disciples how to pray (the only thing they asked him to teach them - Matthew 6: 5 onward).

This fall, our Retreat Day will focus on finding a BALANCE in "being quiet" in the midst of our "busy-ness of doing so many things." On Saturday August 23rd, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. , we will gather at Park Church, 1456 Harvard Blvd; and retreat across the street to Walbridge Park (weather permitting). Children are welcome and will have their own leader with activities just for them! Cost: $25 per adult; $15 per child, with lunch included.

To register send a deposit of $10 per person, to: Village Church, 2547 Robinwood, Toledo, OH 43610; include your name, phone number and e mail address. Deposit must be received by August 15 to reserve your space.

Our leader is Breta Gorman, Spiritual Director at Our Lady of the Pines Retreat Center in Fremont, OH; Master Reiki teacher; and pastor Cheri's Spiritual Director and friend for the past 12 years. Cheri calls Breta, "The coolest nun on the planet."

The leader for the Children's program will be Heather Utsler, BGSU Education major. The children will play and discover the beauty of God's creation.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

We Serve

Jesus, in the gospel of Mark, laid out what his disciples could expect as a follower of his. The way was not going to be one of power and glamor "43 It's not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. 44 Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. 45 That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served-and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage." Mark 10: 43-45, from the Message translation of the Bible.

Jesus was not the kind of leader his people were expecting. The people of the time expected the savior to be a great military leader, a great speaker, a power broker without compare. Instead, what they got was a leader who served all. Someone who thought that the only path to true leadership was to serve.

That's the kind of life I am trying to lead. It is, I pray daily, the life I am modeling for my kids. Almost every day, daily is a little too ambitious for me, but I am working on it, I utter a prayer asking God to make me God's servant. Not make me rich, make me powerful, make we wise, help me save the world, etc.

The word the guides me on this path is from Japan. Translated to English, it means literally "We Serve". However, if you don't know Japanese, you could be forgiven for thinking that "Samurai" refers to a group of sword swinging warriors from Japan, and believe me, they were. But the Samurai's job was to protect the peace and safety of the kingdom and serve the Empire by doing so. That meant that when needed they were cops, ditch diggers, diplomats, and yes, sword wielding warriors.

So, as you begin to think about your journey, and as we begin ours as the Village, think of "We Serve", because that is one of our main things around here. We are a community of servants. By the way, if you need a visual symbol, that's the symbol at the start of this post.