Good Month – Bad Month – God’s Time
James 5:13-16 New International Version (NIV) The Prayer of Faith 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is an-yone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
It's funny how a period of time, we call a month, can be a timeframe where we have goals, expectations, or anticipate things within an overall year. August 2014, proved to be a month in my life that started out one way but ended completely differently from any foreseen expectations.
August is one of those months in our family that has three Birthdays, two daughters Tricia, Hannah, and me (although I stopped counting years ago). So it is fun planning gifts that can be mailed and ways to communicate how valued and loved we are all to each other. Heather, always makes a concerted effort to ensure the days are special, noted, and sometimes we even expand birthdays into birthday weeks. Although I sense a cunning plan on Heather’s part to have a birthday-month in September!?! So the month of August started out with a lot of planning related to family birthdays, which is generally a good thing.
Heather also had a big trip planned – it had been over 3years since she had gone back to London for seeing family and relatives and she has a new baby cousin she has been itching to hold. So those plans were laid out and was something Heather anxiously anticipated – more good things.
However, in early August a respected and dear work collogue, MG Harold Greene, was killed in Afghanistan. I had known him off and on since he was a Lieutenant Colonel spanning a decade. Got to work directly for him for close to two years. He was the best leader, family man, sports nut, and mentor anyone could ever hope to be associated with and work for in the U.S. Army. The circumstances of his death did not make his passing any easier to accept. I was taken back and for over a week felt so badly for his family and those even closer to him than I was. It was hard to concentrate on the normal and work things for that subsequent week. Definitely put a bad spin on part of the month.
As many in the Community know, there was great concern for the Janiczek’s granddaughter. Lucy had heart issues and this was a set of major turn-of-events that continued in August. News had dire implications and the dear baby was on an artificial heart by the mid-point of August. For knowing how excited Jan and Carolyn were for this grand baby, the demands and concerns on the whole family were immense and foreboding. This was on my mind and in my heart for many a day and night in August. I wore Lucy socks several times a week – why I had red socks with little white hearts on them I do not know – but they will be forever my Lucy socks from here on out. People asked why I had those socks on and I told them and asked them to pray.
The Lucy situation was a set of circumstances that none of us in the Emmaus community could control or help with directly in a physical sense, however, we turned to the power of prayer. So from an evident bad situation for most of the month we were blessed toward the end of the month to have options and a suitable donor heart. This certainly was a complicated and mixed set of blessings that ran the course of: medical crises, forced alternatives, and the passing of one baby to enable the life of another. All this occurring in August, could there be a more complex roller coaster of emotions, concerns, worry, elation, and guarded optimism? However, by the end of the month we could give witness to James 5:16 (NLT version), the earnest prayer of the righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. What was very bad for most of the month turned out to have blessed results.
By the end of the month, actually as I am writing this article, I got a call from my Doctors. I been diagnosed with skin cancer. While I am not surprised, it did put a bummer turn to the end of this strange month of August. I have already scheduled procedures and other courses of action will be followed diligently. I have survived a much more aggressive type of cancer before and will do what is require to respond to this challenge.
I have Heather for support and God by my side, I sincerely and fervently believe in the Prayer of Faith that kicks off this article – while it was originally more intended for Lucy, I believe it applies to all Christians who believe and have faith. With respect to singing praises, Jan provided a heartfelt letter than he gave me permission to share. So instead of ending with a prayer, I want to include his open letter. It speaks to the love inside of this Emmaus Community, the power of prayer, and how the Holy Spirit has been evident to so many of us during the ordeal that their granddaughter and family experienced.
Members of: First United Methodist Church Charlottesville, Virginia Spirit and Life United Methodist Church Manassas, Virginia Dumfries United Methodist Church Dumfries, Virginia The Methodist Church by Barnes Pond London National Capital Area Emmaus and Chrysalis Communities We are humbled and grateful to be a part of such a strong faith based fellowship. Your prayers and actions on behalf of Lucy, her parents, Rob and Jess, and her grandparents, Linda, Dave, Carolyn and myself, have truly blessed us.
Just two weeks after arriving at Freeman Hospital at Newcastle on Tyne, Lucy has received a transplant heart from an undisclosed donor. Of course her recovery in not assured, but she is in a far better state than before surgery. Her future will include a lifetime of antirejection drugs, annual heart biopsies, restricted diets, etc., but it is a life she would not have had without the transplant.
We grieve for the donor and their family. Please continue to pray for Lucy, her family, the donor, and the donor’s family. If you have not, please consider becoming an organ donor. We thank God for all he has done for Lucy, and we remain his obedient and faithful servants. Jan and Carolyn Janiczek
May we all be truly blessed in all we do and all we experience within a community of faith and as beloved children of God throughout our time on earth. That time measured in days, weeks, month, or years is not what is significant – it is our time with God that spans all time markers, which strengthens us and promotes within us faith, grace, and love in all circumstances. Decolores
Community Lay Director
"Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings." Psalm 63:7
Why do we sing? It expresses our soul, it comforts, calms and worships. Has a song spoken for your soul? Let us know- we'd love to make it part of the music menu and/or share your thoughts about a song here in this column. Music prepares us for worship, but it also IS worship! Any communication with our Great God sets our soul afire and sets us free. Singing together "The Creed" at the August Ultreya was such a beautiful affirmation of our faith. God is great.
Enjoy this fall as Ultreya music is lead by C-87; E-170; and E-171. Join to sing, celebrate and welcome new community members. Praises!
Our 2015 Weekends!!
E-173 ~ Apr. 30 - May 3 - Mike McLean
E-174 ~ Oct. 8 - 11 - Susan Verghese
E-175 ~ Nov. 5 - 8 - Tony Papp
All 2015 weekends will be held at the Meadowkirk, VA
And Our Remaining 2014 Weekends!!
E-170 ~ Oct. 02 - 05 - Beth Mickey
E-171 ~ Nov. 13 - 16 - Sam Parris
All weekends will be held at the 4-H Training Center near Front Royal, VA
One of the questions that was asked during teaming on E-170 was, “What was the greatest impact of your walk?” That was a good question!
My walk was not an NCA Emmaus walk. I walked on Tidewater 30 back in 1995. There were some “interesting people” who teamed and I felt some of the things that were emphasized were not what should have been emphasized. I will let it go at that.
When I was first asked to team I tried to run because I didn’t have many wonderful memories — in fact I had pretty much forgotten all about it. I said “yes” to David Channell’s weekend, E-145. They wisely had me serve as a Table Leader, so I got to experience the weekend almost like a pilgrim. It was fantastic! So here I am today, serving on my 8th team and completing my second term on the Board of Directors. What a privilege that has been. And I proudly wear lace on my shirt because I have served on three women’s weekends.
Nancy didn’t walk until we were in Northern Virginia. She walked on E-144, with Sandy Theiss serving as the Rectora. She came home and was filled with this great happiness, excitement, and joy. She didn’t share a lot with me because she knew my walk hadn’t been much to write home about. When I got back from E-145, Nancy told me all about her weekend and I fully understood what she had experienced in New Windsor.
There are those high moments that just set your heart pounding. There are those moments when you run headlong into yourself. There are those times when you feel you have sung your heart out as that incredible music was played. There are times when you have prayed so hard and laughed until it hurt. We cried joyful tears of revelation of God’s love and grace and the love that comes from others, along with the tears of letting go of the painful past. For some reason, M&Ms became vitamins. The food was unreal and that Agape Feast where they were grilling steaks in the snow was just a perfect evening (OK - for the guys anyway!). So how did I answer the question? The greatest impact on me has been you — the community — the Emmaus family!!!
I have been able to meet so many people, that I embarrassingly confess that I cannot remember everyone’s names. I have met people and we have cried and rejoiced together because of the overwhelming realization of God’s love and grace and presence in our lives. I have made friends who will remain beloved friends for the rest of my life. Garey Eakes and Richard Cobb were the SDs on David’s weekend. They have become special brothers in Christ. Richard is my best friend in the ministry. Getting to work with him during my sabbatical was an incredible experience. I’m just sorry that we couldn’t take our show on the road… Richard and Carroll are extremely important people to Nancy and me. I have so many other names to list whom I love so much, but I do need to be aware of space for this article and I don’t want to leave anyone out. Please forgive me for not mentioning all your names. It started at Dumfries Church and has encompassed a lot of miles and a lot of people.
Besides a trip down memory lane, what am I trying to say to you? I want to make it clear that you wonderful people have changed my life and made it better. I am grateful for you and your presence in my life. I am so lucky to have beloved friends that I can call for whatever reason. And I also want to make it clear that there are so many other folks we know that need to experience the NCA Emmaus Family. They need to experience God’s love and grace. They need to experience the joy and peace and hope and freedom that comes from being up on the mountain. They need to be asked to walk on an NCA Emmaus weekend. Let’s reach out — keep striving for that “inside out” approach so others can have that life-changing, spirit-filling, loved-to-overwhelming time that all of us have enjoyed. Wouldn’t it be great if we became so bold in our asking and creative in our sponsoring, that we would find that we need to go back to 36 pilgrims on a weekend — and maybe, just maybe, we would need to go back to 6 weekend walks each year? The secret is simply to keep asking!
Blessings, love and De Colores,
Jer 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Phil 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every-thing, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Ps 37:4: Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
These three verses keep popping into my head over the last month or so. This is my last FDJ article as the CLD for NCA Chrysalis. 12 months ago I has some worries but through much prayer and tons of support from the board and friends and my wife I feel that I have done God’s will for the community.
I know that there are many great things in store for the NCA Chrysalis community! I hope and pray that we will continue to grow and help to create more and more youth and young adult leaders throughout the NCA community churches and beyond! With God’s continued blessings I know we will be successful in bringing the love and leadership God’s community.
I want to thank the Chrysalis board and support staff without whom I would have been totally lost and not been able to what was needed of me! To those people I say you have all been a huge blessing and again thank you for your continued support for the community. A big thank you to Jan Niehoff and to Bob LeMay they have kept me on track and always pointing in the right direc-tion!
Lastly we have another weekend coming up the 21st-24th of August! C-87 is a high school weekend and we are in need of more caterpillar applications! Please if you know someone who is in high school and you think they would benefit from a weekend please take the time to send them an application! Applications can be found on our website www.ncachrysalis.org Please consider sponsoring a youth for this awesome weekend!
Fly with Christ
J. R. Williams
NCA Chrysalis Lay Director
I am the Community Palanca Cha. I need volunteers to make placemats for me. We need 270 decorated placemats for each team that goes to the Mountain.
I will have blank placemats at the Ultreyas each month. You can create your own design, either free hand, trace from a coloring book, use markers, glitter and glue to create your designs. You can either do them yourselves or get your Sunday School classes to do them. The pilgrims really like them when they come from the children. There are two kinds needed: the ones that are decorated with cute pictures and words, and ones that specifically say “DeColores”. It does not matter what the picture is, it only needs to say “DeColores” somewhere on the placemat. If you wish to make a set for a specific weekend that is great but you need to mark the envelope this is for E-# and I will make sure it goes on that weekend.
You can do placemats for Chrysalis they need the same decorated and instead of saying DeColores they say FLY WITH CHRIST. If you want to do them for Chrysalis you can get them from Terry Downer and return them to her or you can give them to me and I will make sure she gets them.
Or what about your cloth Palanca bags that you received on Friday. How many of you sew? You can go to your fabric store and pick up some material. Rainbow material works well, I guess because most people don’t want to use it as a dress. I will have the dimensions available for you if you’re interested at the Ultreya.
Do you remember your Joy Flag Parade? Joy flags are always needed. These can be made from paper or fabric, and can be as simple or intricate as you desire, as long as they say “Joy” somewhere on the flag. These should always be the pennant shape, too. You may also specify the joy flags for specific weekend also.
First stones are simple. Go outside, pick up a rock, and write “First” on it. Please write “F-I-R-S-T” and not “I-S-T on it. We have felt for the “I’m Lovable” flower pin that you received on Friday. Men get a pennant-shaped ribbon, and felt is available for both. Do you remember being showered with Warm Fuzzies on Sunday? If you love yarn, then this is the project for you. At the Ultreyas there will be the prayer wheel for you to sign up to pray and also, there will be a sheet passed that will have snacks for the weekend. You can sign at the Ultreyas. Food for the weekends needs to get to the Head Cha before Tuesday of the week that the team is going unless you are sponsoring someone and will be going to the mountain on Thursday.
Where do I get all of the material or instructions, you may ask. Well, you can pick up placemats, felt for flowers and banners, and yarn for warm fuzzes at the Ultreya each month. You can also pick up or return items at the Ultreya. There is usually a table near the church’s entrance where items are placed. Or you can find me and hand items to me.
If you’re not available to attend the Ultreya, you can contact me. My email address is LindaLSmith999@verizon.net and phone number is 703- 216-2469. And if you’re concerned about getting an item to me quickly, we can always keep in touch by phone and work out something. If you are willing to serve as Palanca Chairman for your church please fill out the information on the clipboard that I will have at each Ultreya in the front. Please list which items your group is interested in doing, so when I am running low on items I can contact the chairman.
If you are in a reunion group this is a good project that you could do. So, check with your group and see what items you all would love to do. If someone from your church has already signed up then you don’t need to. I am looking forward to working with you!
"If you would like to get placemats please call Linda Smith 703-216-2469 and she will meet you to get them to you"
Thank you and DeColores!
Linda L Smith
Revised Procedures for Ultreya Prayer Concerns
The Board of Directors recently addressed the topic of prayer concern procedures during Ultreyas. The Board was advised that prayer concerns at Ultreya, written out for the presiding Spiritual Director to read, in many cases contained sensitive and private information. As a result, the Board decided to revise the procedures and implemented their decision at the December Ultreya. The revised procedures ask that prayer concerns be written on a piece of paper (provided) and dropped into a box. At the appropriate time during the Ultreya, the box containing the prayer concerns will be brought to the presiding Spiritual Director who will lead the community in prayer.
If individuals feel that more information should be shared regarding a specific prayer concern, please submit that concern to the community through the Holynet after checking with the parties involved to obtain their consent. Prayer concerns for publication on the HolyNet should be sent via email to email@example.com.
The Board of Directors has set the Weekend Fees for 2012 as follows:
From the returning second-year class of Directors, one lay member is elected by the Board to serve as the Community Lay Director for a one year term.. This person then selects an Assistant Lay Director from the second-year class.
The second-year Spiritual Director serves as the Community Spiritual Director, with the first-year SD serving as the Assistant to the Spiritual Director