December 10, 2019 | Read more »
We sometimes think that acting for peace rooted in justice has to be complicated – a big new project or program – but as you’ll read in this issue a one-time or once-a-year event can have a powerful witness and lasting impact. Here are some examples of how BPFNA Partner Congregations, member churches and other friends are among those congregations making a difference in a day.
- University Baptist and Brethren in College State College, PA raises about $30,000 in 3 hours for 22 non-profits with their Alternative Christmas Fair.
- MacNeill Baptist in Hamilton, ON hosts an annual Eat Local Pot Luck Challenge. Attendees are invited to bring a pot luck item that uses locally grown ingredients to share. There are prizes for Most Local Ingredients, Most Economical and Delicious, and a Junior Chef prize.
- Judson Memorial Church in New York marked the longest night of the year with a Watch Night service remembering the people who live on the streets every night of the year.
Pullen Memorial in Raleigh realized that their traditional thank you meal for church volunteers wasn’t drawing many attendees, but they still wanted to recognize everyone’s hard work so they bought chocolate bars through the Baptist Fair Trade Project, created a special thank you wrapper, and gave them to all their volunteers.
- Some of our Partners in Rochester, NY were a part the Faith In Action Network of Rochester’s First Annual Community Memorial Service, a meaningful way of remembering neighbors who had died over the last year with no family or resources.
Like many churches, Circle of Mercy in Asheville hosts a yard sale to raise money for youth missions, but they add a twist of spiritual discipline! For their Soul-Cleansing, House-Neatening, Priority-Setting Yard Sale Challenge, they send out daily reminders urging people to clear clutter from a certain area.
Here was our favorite:
At a Yard Sale several years ago, one of the other parents admitting to still owning the red velour track suit he had treasured as a teenager with the (wait for it) rainbow stripe that ran down the sleeves and legs. It was clearly a wrinkle in the otherwise happy relationship with his wife. Unfortunately, he refused to model it for us or to add a mullet wig which would have topped off the ensemble beautifully. Sometimes you should just let things go. Your challenge this evening should you choose to accept it is to go to your closet and let go of five articles of clothing....or maybe ten if you too have a red velour track suit still hanging around.
We also liked the philosophical bent of this posting:
"Don't own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire." -Wendell Berry, Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer