July 21, 2019
The scars from the Civil War were still fresh and unhealed when Gil Bates, an ex-Union sergeant, decided to see how Americans really felt about their country.
Bates, a Yankee, bet his friends that he could walk across the Southern states carrying nothing but an American flag. No weapons, no money—just the flag. Bates’ friends thought he had a death wish, but they lay down their bets anyway.
For weeks, he marched through devastated Southern towns, yet everywhere he went, Gil Bates was met with great hospitality. Strangers along the way fed and housed him and gave him clothing. People ran from their homes just to shake his hand. When Bates arrived in Washington, D.C. on April 14, he was greeted by a huge party. Gil Bates’ walk through the South had restored the citizens’ faith in America.
This is the final week in our series Do It! This week we will be exploring this theme, through the eyes of the Mary and Martha hosting Jesus in their house, in a sermon titled “Open Your Door”. As disciples of Jesus we are called to open our doors to others and offer hospitality just like Mary and Martha and just like what was offered Gil Bates as he toured the south after the Civil War. Sharing the good news with strangers and friends alike by inviting them into our lives can be scary.
See you in Sunday School and worship Sunday as we explore how we might “Open Our Doors”!
Grace & Peace,
Another chapter in Kindness ...
July 14, 2019
Somewhere out on the ribbons of highway that criss-cross Canada, a new chapter in an ongoing Good Samaritan story is waiting to be written.
It began when Betty Peters of Beechy (Sask.) and her late husband Max ran out of gas while driving in the country. A helpful man came along and drove Max to the nearest town, then returned him to the stranded car with a can of gasoline. The Peters decided that from then on they would carry an extra can of gas with them. So they filled a one-gallon can and put it in the trunk, carving Max's initials into the orange paint.
A short time later while driving to British Columbia, they came across a motorist out of gas near Lethbridge, Alta. They gave the motorist the can, refusing payment, but asking him to fill it up and pass it on to the next motorist who needed it.
A couple of years later, the Peters saw the can being passed to a motorist on the side of the road in British Columbia. A couple of years after that, they saw it being handed to a motorist near Qu'Appelle, Sask., about 675 km east of where they had first given it away.
On both occasions the Peters stopped to talk with the motorists. "From what we could trace," says Betty, "the can had been across Canada twice. One fellow got it in B.C., one fellow said he got it in Manitoba and the person who gave it to him got it from somebody in Montreal."
Max died nearly 20 years ago, after a life spent being helpful to others. Although Betty has lost track of the can, she likes to think it's still out on the highway somewhere, a legacy to Max's spirit of sharing.
We continue our summer sermon series Be It, Do It, as we shift our focus toward the doing side of the equation of Christian discipleship. This week we will be exploring this theme, through the eyes of the Good Samaritan, a sermon titled “The Third Man”. As disciples of Jesus we are called to pass on our faith in much the same way as both Max and the Good Samaritan. Sharing the good news with strangers and friends alike and inviting them to accept it as a gift and pass it on to others.
I invite you to think of one person this HOT month of July that you might share your faith story with, so, they might be refueled for their journey.
See you in Sunday School and worship Sunday!
Grace & Peace,
July 7, 2019
Bill was a member of the “Greatest Generation”. He served in the United States Army during World War II, he was in the invasion of Normandy and D Day. When he was talking about his war experiences, he mentioned the suffering, the deprivation, the horror of war. But then he said, “Still, I look back on those four years as the best years of my life. For once in my life I really had the feeling that I was part of something, something bigger than myself. I was on the move. We had a mission. Maybe, it is sad to say, those were the best years of my life.”
“I was part of something, something bigger than myself”. It is sad to say that we must wait for a war to have that feeling.
This week we begin the doing portion of our summer series, "Be It • Do It." We will be exploring for three weeks how we as disciples can follow Jesus’ call and example by engaging our faith in the world beyond the walls of the church. We will try to engage our hearts and minds in being part of something bigger than ourselves – Christ’s mission. Our first sermon is titled Making A Mark.
I hope you will join me in worship as we engage our lives in something bigger as we seek to make a mark for Christ in the world.
Grace & Peace,