Tag Archives: men’s retreat

Clock, Retreat folder, Envelope – Monday Messy Office Report – 11/24/2014

24 Nov

My office is tidy Friday, mysteriously messy on Monday. Here’s what I found today:

office wall1. A Clock hanging on my wall, with the correct time, ticking.  I didn’t notice it right away.  A clock on the wall is very normal thing, and I suppose it just seemed to be a normal part of the decor.  I unloaded the stuff I brought into the office, put my lunch in the fridge in the kitchen, talked for a few minutes with our secretary, and then got to work.  Once I opened my laptop and waited for it to load, there was silence in my office.  Then surprisingly, a tick-tock, tick-tock.  The ticking of the clock actually surprised me.  I had a clock in my office years ago, but when it died, I never replaced it.  With my phone and my laptop, there is no need. So why is there a clock in my office?  I wonder if someone is trying to send me a message!  I guess I’ll leave it there, unless another room in the church needs a clock.  Let me know!

2. Retreat folder – I know I mentioned retreat stuff last week, but since the actual retreat took place this past weekend, I thought I would mention it again.  I brought a folder of retreat admin docs, notes, and payment info back with me, and I had to close the books on the retreat today.  It was an incredible weekend.  Not only did we have awesome weather, delicious food, and the great facilities and staff of Twin Pines, but we went hiking, played sports, airsoft, a high stakes game of croquet, and a couple rounds of Pirate’s Cove.  Most of all we got to strengthen our bonds as men, and we got to learn more about and practice growing as mighty men of prayer.  There was loads of laughter, intense discussions, even a few tears.  If you know one of the men who went on this powerful weekend, pull them aside and ask about the retreat.  How about you?  When is the last time your learned about prayer?  Read about book about prayer?  We learned much about prayer including hindrances to prayer.  Yes, there are things that can hinder our prayers!  Ask one of the guys to tell you what they are!

3. Envelope from Ethiopian Church – I’ve written about them before, but by my quick research I’ve never written about them. I’m excited that the people that are Faith Church are the kind of people that are much more caring about the Kingdom of God than they are about their church building. In my office was a rent check from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church that worships here on Saturdays mornings.  The Ethiopian Church is the third church that has rented shared space from us in the 12 years that I have been there.  We are glad to partner with them.  They are an Orthodox church which means they have a very liturgical style of worship, including the use of icons, holy items and a large temporary fabric screen that covers the entire front of our worship space.  They use incense in worship, and they often cook food.  Though they meet on Saturday mornings, the smells of their worship linger into Sunday when we arrive.  When I heard a couple weeks ago that they purchased a warehouse nearby and are hoping to convert it to worship space, it was bittersweet news.  Sweet in that it will be wonderful for them to have their own space.  But bitter in that while it is definitely easier for us and them to not have to share, we lose something by not having guests from a different culture regularly in our building.  They many differences in the way they live and worship have at times been an adjustment for us.  Adjustments are sometimes difficult.  But those adjustments, looking back on them, are good. We grow by having to be flexible.  We become deeper people by having our sensibilities tested.  We learn that we are not the center of the universe, that our way of worship is not the only way, nor the best way.  I was so encouraged when people of Faith Church came forward to help the Ethiopian Church with aspects of their new building.  Perhaps we can help more!  And when they move on, we’ll miss them.  We’ll also be looking for ways to partner with other people!

Well…I guess it is time for me to clean up this mess. 

Kenya, Men’s Retreat, Congregational Meeting – Monday Messy Office Report – 11/17/14

17 Nov

My office is tidy Friday, mysteriously messy Monday.  Here’s why:

Kijabe-Kenya11. Kenya trip stuff – I am super excited about this.  A group from Faith Church is planning on to take a 10-day trip in July/August 2015 to visit our Faith Church family members, Lamar, Janice & Donovan Stoltzfus, serving at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya!  Yesterday, after the events of the day which I’ll talk about below, we had a Skype info meeting with them, and it was great.  In my office I have the cables and camera we use to facilitate the call.  I also have a few leftover applications, which are due by January 1st, with a $250 deposit.  I want to thank Verna Miller at MTS Travel for all her assistance with reserving our air passage.  Most of all I want to thank Alyssa Stoltzfus who took a break from college to spend the afternoon with us and help answer questions, and I want to thank Lamar & Janice for a great call.  We love you guys!  And from what they shared, we are going to have a wonderful trip.  There is opportunity to serve at a displaced persons camp, at a church in the camp, certainly on the campus of RVA, and lots more.

2. Men’s Retreat registrations – I am also excited about our fourth annual men’s retreat going on at Twin Pines Camp this coming weekend.  We have a great group going along, and we’re excited to have Sandy Good of Live 10:27 Ministries as our speaker.  He is hilarious and has deep teachings.  The theme is Mighty Men of Prayer.  I can’t believe I’m saying all this nice stuff…he’s also my father-in-law.  There’s still room if anyone would like to join us!  Contact me, and I’ll send you a brochure.  We’re going to have a blast.  And Twin Pines is such an amazing place. We’ll have great food, lots of outdoor fun, sports, and great discussions.

3. Congregational Meeting stuff – We had our annual congregational meeting yesterday, and it was great!  We had an election of our very first Leadership Team.  Faith Church has been working on a governance change for years, and earlier this year we voted it in place.  A six-month transition took place, and on January 1, 2015, the new governance system, including the Leadership Team, will begin.  Basically we sought out biblical principles to guide us in creating a governance structure.  The Bible is wisely very flexible in that regard, but one clear principle emerged as it relates to who should be a leader.  That principle is that the most spiritually mature should lead the church.  So we implemented a process to select leaders by virtue of spiritual maturity, and God provided!  Congrats to all who were selected.  I’m excited about working with you, excited to see what God will do in and through Faith Church!

Now to clean up this mess!