Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blessing

Have you ever been to a place that was unfamiliar?  Maybe the food was different, the temperature wasn't what you were used to and you couldn't understand the language.  Perhaps the pace of life was unusual and the way that people treated one another was strange.  What would it mean to you to have someone come along side you and walk you through the strange cultural differences and help you learn the language?

Can you imagine moving thousands of miles away from home and living in a completely different culture where you don't know anyone and all of the strange things listed above are true?  Thousands of international students do this every year.  Last fall (2010) here at OU alone there were 1,483 international students representing 95 countries.  All needed to adjust to the SE Ohio culture.  While some didn't have a problem with the language, others really needed assistance from friends who welcomed them to the United States and to Athens in particular.  These friends were conversation partners who volunteered an hour a week just to connect and chat. 

I encourage you to consider volunteering as a conversation partner.  Come along side another to help him or her navigate the customs and language here.  In doing so, you will be a blessing.  You can sign up to be a conversation partner by clicking here.  It's very simple.  You will meet a new friend and be able to help acquaint one of the many guests in the USA right here at Ohio University.  Thanks!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Belonging

“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matt. 7:22-23)

    Being precedes doing or, put another way, our doing flows out of our being.  We can do all kinds of good things, righteous things, powerful and even apparently holy things but if our hearts are not right or our relationship with God is not one in which we are known by Christ, that doing is evil.  That may seem rather harsh but that’s what Jesus says.

On the other hand, the one who is humble enough to come to God, admit her/his failures and request forgiveness is received with open arms as the Father received the prodigal and lavished his love, grace and welcome just because the son returned home (Luke 15:11ff).

It appears that the kingdom is too small for the prideful.  However, the King has wide open arms and plenty of room for the humble.   This open-armed welcome and belonging is the sort of hospitable expression we hope to express this fall and always.  

As new students explore the campus and experience campus life and as you veteran, returning students show up for another year, we are delighted to be able to connect people in relationships with one another and with the Father who loves us so much that He is seeking us out.  No one has to be perfect to be part of ROC.  Actually, we’re a haven for sinners being transformed by God’s love and grace and the power of His Holy Spirit.  

Our first value, “belonging—to God and each other,” expresses this goal of enfolding people in relationships with one another and with God.  We believe that it is through the ongoing interaction with one another in God’s presence in community and service that we are formed into the image of Christ.  This life on life experience is not unlike the discipleship that occurred with Jesus and His apostles (Mk 3:14).  He brought them together first to be with Him and then to send them out to preach.  The being with was necessary in order for them to do the preaching.  Their doing flowed out of their being!   

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Banner Problem

Apparently the ROC banner that is up at the College Gate has the wrong location for worship tomorrow night.  Cross Walk will be held in the South Pole all year this year at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday nights.  The banner says the ROC House.

Sorry for any confusion this brings folks.  Time for a new banner!