Board of Directors News
New International Version (NIV). Isaiah 59:7 “Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. They pursue evil schemes; acts of violence mark their ways” Proverbs 6:18 “a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil” Psalm 39:6 “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be
For those who know me – I am fond of making up words “Tony-isms” -- I call them the “Papp Unabridged Dictionary”. My poor wife just shakes her head at my liberties with the American language because she is absolutely certain that I do not speak English. An example would be: fauxpologist. This would be someone who continually says they are sorry but really do not mean it – a fauxpologist. I know it is silly, but with marketing and commercials on TV and other media; they actually are using words that I created and abused long ago. Again, my wife just shakes her head.
At a recent church meeting a thought was put forth to set the tone of a meeting that we should “un-rush”. It was from some reference or author but the term itself captivated me and prompted further thought. Priority setting and keeping a balance between our daily obligations is a challenge for all of us. The more engaged we are; the ‘opportunities’ we have for priority conflicts increases. However, no matter how well intentioned we are with a daily or weekly to-do list or how much planning or forethought we attempt, something comes along to revamp or force changes to our plans. This is especially true of our society today and is our own particular complication to life; significant levels of distraction that were not part of society in biblical times.
What I find interesting about “un-rush” is that we can have the best of intention but we find ourselves scurrying to and fro too often. We work very hard to overcome disparate obligations, distances between meetings, or other commitment complications. We find ourselves going between things often with exacerbation that ends up consuming time and energy beyond the actual act or obligations we are rushing to accomplish. We constantly check email, our smart phones, and our texts; sometimes without even knowing why we are checking! This is an interesting dilemma.
I captured just a few biblical references for the word “Rush” at the start of this article. The connotation for those listed above is not good. ‘Rush’ context in other bible references had to do with warfare (rushing an enemy), rush of water, or swine rushing toward the lake to drown. Basically “Rush” or “Rushing” in the bible is not a positive thing.
It was interesting that there were no overt examples of Jesus rushing about. Most reference to travels and his journey on earth show purposeful and deliberate actions. His mission, God’s plan, which unfolded to His destiny on the cross, showed understanding, grace, and respect for the Father’s intent for mankind. If there was ever a motivation to rush and get something over with, we humans would think, getting suffering and crucifixion out of the way to have ascension into heaven would be motivation to rush and get the bad out of the way.
So the “Un-rush” character of Jesus is a better example for us to follow and apply to our lives even now-a-days. It does us little good to set priorities and pursue things if we have to rush about so intensely that we lose focus, diminish the value of achievements, and take no time to appreciate what we do accomplish! It is sad that too often we knock something off our to-do list that was really important; yet, we do not appreciate the value of it and what it meant to others because we are rushing off to the next thing.
So for October take some time to think about the silly term – UN-RUSH. May it give you pause to take time to: appreciate what you have accomplished; give you a res-pite for worrying; find peace and satisfaction from your actions; and, happiness in what you have done more than fretting about what you have not done. 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. It is not just about what we do that creates a positive lifestyle, it is what we do right in the image of Christ, fortified by the Holy Spirit, that gives us a meaningful life with grace, peace, and love.
Community Lay Director
Psalm 95:6-7. "Oh come, let us worship and bow down....
What a wonderful fall season in NCAE - music from Chrysalis, Women's and Men's teams, intros of teams, new weekend MDs, new butterflies and pilgrims & good news from Kairos! Let's continue to PRAISE Him daily
Musicians of all shapes and sizes and venues are WELCOME to join in at Ultreyas, sponsors' hours, closings, outreach to sing and play! Also consider planning an outreach for your church or group!!
Our 2015 Weekends!!
E-172 ~ Mar. 12-15 - Kathy Woodley
All weekends will be held at the Meadowkirk Retreat Center in Middleburg, Virginia
It is a blessing to have passed the point in life when as parents we participated with our daughter in the process of selecting good college choices, applying, and waiting for the decisions. All hope the chosen school will be the right place for the transitions which take place across college. Will you find friends, good influences and other forms of support in the social transformation from child to adult? Will you discover or confirm your passion for a field to which you could dedicate years of work?
Our daughter, a college senior, recently presented the student perspective at her university’s Open House for high school students. We heard the school’s pitch for applicants and also heard how the university evaluates the students they believe will have successful experiences there.
The preparation that is maturing into a Christian life is not competitive in the way that seeking admission to the college of one’s choice can be. Colleges can only accept a finite number of students, while the Christian life and the promise of salvation is available to all who seek it. For instance, there are no standardized tests on which our life is graded. And grades, well, the Christian life is like a series of pass/fail courses with many make-up tests and no grade point average to weigh us down. There are, however, some lessons from college admissions that we might apply to maturing in our Christian life.
Schools look for students who expand their horizons and broaden their experience by studying new subjects and increasing the depth of their knowledge. They like to see students develop the ability to think critically, discuss issues and express their thoughts.
Students are always concerned about the “extra curriculars” because colleges like to see what a student is doing in all aspects of their life. Are they involved in their world? Are they developing personal responsibility? Are they contributing?
Schools seek capable students because schools offer a process of education and maturation that will prepare some students for adult life. We do not have to compete to gain eternal life, and as we know, there is nothing we can do to earn a place at God’s side, but that does not give us an excuse to live an unexamined life, a life of not seeking to challenge ourselves, a life that does not aspire to the fullness of Christian life.
Most people do aspire to be better people and to contribute in some way to making this world a better place. Gil Rendle recently wrote about “our intent to help make our lives, our communities, our world "better" - more aligned with God's view of what could be.” As Rendle points out, our challenge is moving beyond our intentions to the actions that are necessary to improve our Christian lives and a more “kingdom-like” world.
Is our effort to enhance our Christian life comparable to the effort our young people make to get into college? What do we do to put our aspirations into practice? Do we commit ourselves to study, both in class where we benefit from other people and in our own independent studies? Do we seek challenging material that may take us out of our comfort zones; that may require us to examine our beliefs? Do we seek those “Advance Placement” classes that will give us a broader base from which to engage this world as Christians?
And how are our “extra-curriculars”? Where do we engage in our community? Your church may move you beyond the pew into the world, but you can initiate those steps too. And then, we can bring others along. Are we in the school, the assisted living residence, the nursing home, the food bank, the hypothermia shelter, the jail?
God has given us the great gift of the assurance of God’s love and a view of what God has always desired for our lives. Living into the fullness of the Christian life is good for our lives and for this world, and is great preparation for the Kingdom where all will be as God desires.
Blessings for your Christian walk,
"Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God; he directs it to whatever ends he chooses. We justi-fy our actions by appearances; God examines our mo-tives. Clean living before God and justice with our neigh-bors mean far more to God than religious performance. Arrogance and pride - distinguishing marks in the wicked - are just plain sin. Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind." ~Proverbs 21:1-5 (MSG)
Well, I've survived my first month as Community Lay Di-rector for Chrysalis and I was drawn to this verse from Proverbs. I really like the way The Message puts it - "Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God". It is telling me that as long as I put my trust in Him, He will direct me, keep me safe and give me the wisdom to make the right decisions.
The new board had a very good first meeting where we took the time to step back and take a look at where we are, where we want to be and start the process of
A lot of my inaugural month has been spent trying to se-cure the Rector/Rectora leadership for the next 2 Chrysalis weekends. I am happy to announce that youth weekend leadership is in place. The youth R's are Whitney Lemay and Nate Reagan and the adult R's are Lauren van Wert and JR Williams. Please lift this group of servant up in your prayers as they embark on their jour-ney of building, training and leading the team that will bring God's word to so many young people early in January 2015.
I am honored - yet humbled - to be in the position of Community Lay Director for this wonderful Chrysalis or-ganization and I give you all my pledge that I will serve to the best of my abilities and with God at the forefront of everything we, as a board, do.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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