An Idea for All Saints as retold by Rev. Rick Maeser


The idea for this particular celebration of All Saints Sunday was Phil Schroeder's, which he demonstrated at our Northwest District clergy retreat.  You could use a different scripture, but I chose Job 1:13-22, 2:11-13.  I spoke about what rending one's clothes meant, and how Job's friends joined him in this expression of grief.  I noted that in the biblical account of their response, words were neither available nor necessary at that particular moment to communicate their empathy, or to offer ...

Feeding the Five Thousand


Matthew 14:13-21  Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’ Jesus said to them, ‘...

HealthFlex GoZone: Are You Up for the Challenge?


All Virgin HealthMiles participants enrolled through HealthFlex are invited to join your fellow HealthFlex particpants in the first-ever All-HealthFlex challenge! How it works: sign up at to join our team, clip on your GoZone pedometer, and start walking. Jogging. Stairmastering. Dancing. Whatever you do, just do more! The team with the highest average steps per player wins. The individual with the most total steps wins, too. A bunch of HealthCash to go...

Leadership Resources for Youth: B1: Fast Today, Change Tomorrow


New Downloadable B1 Video Quick, snappy, and substantive, this newly released three-minute online video explains the fasting campaign, B1. B1 is a response to teenagers' concern and action on behalf of poverty in their neighborhoods and around the world. During Lent 2009, about a dozen United Methodist youth groups participated in the 24-hour food fast. For example, two youth groups in New Jersey raised nearly $5,000 to support The Advance programs of their choice. The B1 campaign is about ...

Our death rate is lower than the national average. So what?


A recent study by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership attempts to track the aging of the membership of the United methodist Church in the United States. By comparing the death rates between the membership of the church and the larger U.S. population they concluded that the North Georgia Conference is one of the "areas of relative youthfulness." The North Georgia Conference has a death rate 40 percent lower than the U.S. population, suggesting a fairly young membership. The California-Pacific...

Leading Causes of Life


" I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10b, NIV)  "Gunderson and Pray write that life is breaking out even in the midst of death-dealing events and the challenge we must accept is to look for the soft whisper of life when the loud crash of death is easier to hear."  (from Larry Hollon's blog) "Leading Causes of Life focuses on five powerful concepts, namely:  connection, coherence, agency (action), blessing, and hope.  The five leading causes apply to ...

Letters Written In Turbulent Times


  "I see tremendous potential here in Georgia for the facing of these days. ... I’ve heard Georgia referred to as a “kingdom,” not an “area.” It would be almost impossible to find a section of the nation or world with more of what it takes to demonstrate intelligently and effectively the church at work. Opportunities for interesting confrontations ... abound .... It’s our time. Our society is starved to death for Christian guidance, and there is so much of the indispensable that will never be ...



B1 is a 24 hour fasting event, sponsored by the General Board of Global Ministries, which raises money to empower the poor and disempower unjust systems. It's about raising awareness and helping young people see what a difference they can make. For more information and additional resources, go to

Most Important Lesson


The most important lesson of all? "Tell 'em story" says the little boy, Nullah, whose voice becomes the narrator of Australia.  Great Lines: Just because it is, doesn't mean it should be. One thing I know, why we tell story is the most important thing of all. That's how you keep them people belonging always.  Random thought: A film about Australia reminds me of Matthew 10:36, as quoted in Breaker Morant, a classic film.



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