Saturday, February 26, 2011

Skipping Rocks

Photo Rock Skipping by -Aero-Lite

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." - Ephesians 3:17-18

"My wife Irene loves to skip rocks when we are backpacking in the mountains. Often we find ourselves at a river bank or at the edge of a mountain lake so that Irene can skip rocks. I usually find a place to rest and watch her as she skips rocks with childlike joy and wonder. The rocks skip across the water, the more skips the better, then they slow to a stop and sink to the bottom.

As I watched this for some time, it hit me that many us, go through life like skipping rocks. Many of us are skipping rocks in our relationships with God and with one another. We rush through life at such a pace that we hit the surface of interaction and relating to God and others and we bounce to the next person or the next big thing, only to bounce on . . . and on . . . and on. In the process we miss the depth and richness that God has for us. If only we were to slow down long enough, we would sink to the depth of relationship that God has in mind for each of us to have with Himself and with one another.

Paul relates this truth well in Ephesians 3:18 when he prays that the Church in Ephesus would 'have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ' for them. Would we also be given the power and ability to understand, grasp and sink to the depths of Christ's love for us and for one another.

Lord, we praise you for the depth of love that you have for us and for calling us into that depth of love for you and for one another. We confess that we often go through life like skipping rocks and barely skim the surface of what you have for us. Grant us Lord Jesus the power and presence of your Holy Spirit to slow us down and sink us to the depths of your love. Amen!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Haiti Mission Trip Next Steps

All photos from LaCroix New Testament Mission website

Guest Post by Irene Pruitt

For a couple of years, I have felt God increase my interest and passion for Haiti, inspiring me to long for some kind of long-term involvement. In August, when Robbie and I heard about the opportunity to to on a trip with CCH, I could see this dream starting to come to fruition. On the plane on the way back, the same longing stirred, fueling the desire to return, to hold my face toward the people of Haiti even when it would be more comfortable to turn away, to allow the Holy Spirit to draw me into greater love and understanding for my Haitian brothers and sisters. The sense of calling is undeniable, but the details of the long term involvement are still hazy. Thankfully, through prayer and discernment, the next baby step has become clear.

In April, Robbie and I will have the opportunity to join 2011 Mission Haiti, a short-term mission to LaCroix New Testament Mission. This trip is sponsored by the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, an organization to which our church community belongs, and will include both adults and teens. Robbie and I are excited to be able to provide leadership and support for the teens, in particular.

LaCroix New Testament Mission is located about 40 miles north of Port au Prince. This organization is run by a Haitian pastor, fondly referred to as Pastor Pierre. He has been running this organization since 1975, and it has expanded and grown tremendously. They provide free schooling to 3,500 children in this rural region, and have a number of other ministries, including churches, water purification, a free grain mill, medical and maternity clinics, housing projects, and reforestation efforts. These ministries are community-based and Haitian-run, and are a lifeline for this arid and impoverished region. Our trip leader, Rev. John Nuzum of Church of the Holy Spirit, has known Pastor Pierre for almost 30 years, and has upmost trust and respect for him as a person and in the work he does. We hope that we can continue to build on this strong relationship.

While we are there, April 13-23, our group will be involved in a number of projects identified by the LaCroix New Testament Mission leadership. These will include building school benches, distributing food, and teaching Sunday school for children, among others. We will also have the great blessing to participate in nightly worship services together with the community. Our hope and prayer is that this experience will also minister to and teach us, and draw us closer to God and to one another.

Would you consider supporting us financially or in prayer? In particular, please pray...
  • For the people of Haiti, that God would meet their every need and restore the country
  • For team unity, discernment and wisdom
  • For protection against accidents, sickness and disease, and for travel mercies
  • That God would change our hearts through this experience, drawing us closer to Jesus, as more obedient followers of Him
  • For Godly encounters, in which we can be witnesses, and impart the love and grace of Jesus to those we meet
  • For protection against discouragement and distraction
  • For each team member's fundraising efforts, that they meet or exceed their goal.
The total cost of the trip for both of us $2100 (that's $1050 each). About half of is for air travel, and the rest is divided equally for room/board and to directly support the work of LaCroix Mission. You can make a donation by clicking here, through Church of the Holy Spirit's website. Just click on "Guest Transaction, and designate your gift by writing "Haiti Mission--Robbie and Irene Pruitt," under "Other." If you choose to support this trip financially, please let us know, so that we can be praying for you and can thank you.

Thanks for your interest, your prayers, and your financial support!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Church of the Epiphany Partners with Souper Bowl of Caring for the Sixth Year

This past Super Bowl Sunday, February 6th 2011, Church of the Epiphany in Herndon Virginia participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring for their sixth year. The Souper Bowl of Caring is a national organization dedicated to supporting charities that feed the hungry and help the homeless across the nation and all over the globe. As of today, February 8, 2011, over five million dollars has been raised to help people in need.

The way the Souper Bowl of Caring works is through local congregations leveraging the excitement of the Super Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday by holding soup pots after Sunday services and collecting financial donations and canned goods for their charity of choice. Church of the Epiphany collected donations after their 8:00am and 10:00am services. They supported Western Fairfax Christian Ministries again this year and raised $372.00 and over 75 canned goods during their collection.

To celebrate the collection the Youth Ministries at Epiphany threw a Super Bowl Party where they collected more canned goods, watched the game, and had dinner and fellowship together. Over 47 people participated in the Super Bowl Party and Celebration and a wonderful time was had by all who participated, proving that service and celebration fit together beautifully!

According to the Souper Bowl of Caring web site, thousands of youth from churches all across the country tackled hunger on Super Bowl Sunday. Over 4,955 groups have participated so far. In 2010, youth across the country generated over $10 million for local charities through the Souper Bowl of Caring. In 2011, they hope to mobilize even more youth and generate even more money for those in need.

No matter the size of your congregation, or of your youth group, you can help provide shelter to the homeless, food to the hungry, and compassion to the needy by joining the Souper Bowl of Caring. So join the movement and act on Jesus’ call to care for our neighbors by going online today and check out the Souper Bowl of Caring: