Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Trot

In spite of the drizzle, spirits were hight at Della Lamb Community Services last Tuesday, the 24th. I had been waiting 12 months for this day. When I arrrived, at 8 a.m., people were already lined up around the corner of the Mabee Gym. Pat, our Board President, was busy handing our doughnuts and hot chocolate to the clients as they waited patiently in line. Rushing inside, I joined the other volunteers who were making last minute additions to the 1500 sacks of groceries lined up on the floor and on tables.
At nine we allowed the first people into the room. Volunteers helped move the families through the line, giving out groceries and a turkey to each, for their Thanksgiving Dinner. Over half of the Lamb's clients do not speak English. So, with heads nodding in thanks and a lot of gesturing, we experienced Operation Thanksgiving. For many of them, it would be there first holiday in the U.S.A.
People came through the line steadily until about 2 p.m. By then I was exhausted, but it was that really nice kind of exhaustion, when you know you have been doing the Lord's work.
I am so thankful for the mission of Della Lamb, and for Judy and her staff. I'm also thrilled and thankful that my Kearney UMC friends Kevin, Rick, Pam, Betty, Lisa, Fred, and Kate, were there to work at the Lamb with me. Special thanks to Eph Ehley and his pals from COR. We all went away truly blessed for the experience.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"...... as long as I keep rollin on."

Miss me? We'll I've been taking a train trip, girlfriends. Scott and I took the Southwestern Chief to Chicago, and then the Capitol Limited to D.C. While there we saw the grands, their parents, and a few of the "off-the-beaten path sights" within the Beltway.
My focus today is Train Travel in 2009. During our time on the train, both ways, no one told us to remove our shoes, wanded my chest looking for the explosives concealed in my underwire bra, or passed us a "free" bag of 3 mini pretzels. Our suitcases were checked to our destination as part of our fare. We ate numerous real meals, served to us warm, in a rolling restaurant, not on our laps. I did not have to read old magazines with previously completed crosswords, and best of all we met some marvelous people.
Dining Car seating, on Amtrak trains, is Community, which means you are seated with strangers until the table is full. Our first meal, right out of KC, was breakfast, which we shared with a young man in his 20s. He was a "gaming" contestant returning home to NYC, from a convention in LA.
Our next meal was shared with a couple from Indiana, who had been on a month long tour of the western states. Every dining experience was a chance to meet and listen to a little bit of another traveler's life story. And, of course we shared our stories, too.
It occurred to me that it's a shame we can't share a meal with strangers more often. If we could really sit and talk to those folk who visit our churches only once and never come back......well, we might open up to them and they might just be open to joining us in our Christian Journey.
Now, I know it would be a risk taking thing. We'd be stepping out of our comfort zones...away from eating those stale pretzels on our own.....we'd be sharing a table.
Sort of like what communion is supposed to be. Fellow Life travelers, that's food for thought.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Almost Ready to Stick a Fork In It

One more month until my stint as Missouri Conference UMW President is over. Since UMW has a strict policy of tenure limits, I finally have to admit that I've been there and done it all (offices that is)and my hat can no longer be thrown into the ring. It has been a most enjoyable four years, however 4 years is enough, girlfriends. I have been able to share my life, my struggles and my shortcomings with the wonderful women of this conference. They know that while I may not have been the most perfect of presidents, I have given them my outfits, bald head and all.
Many thanks to all of the many churches and pastors who welcomed me over the past four years. And, to the very few who were non-supportive of UMW, and to the several who were downright ugly to me and to the was your loss.I have learned that you cannot hope to please everyone, but I THANK GOD for the thousands of folk in Missouri, who know that United Methodist Women are at the very core of Methodism and that we are Mission Arm of the United Methodist Church.
Mabel Unser has been elected and duly installed to take over the UMW Presidency, this coming January 1st. She is going to do a great job. Mabel, too, has held lots of UMW positions and she comes well qualified. The women of Missouri will welcome her and her leadership style with open arms.
My last official duty as Pesident comes this weekend with the presentation of
MODOT II, Your Road to A Better UMW. (Missouri District Officer Training) We'll be at Fairview UMC (thank you Rev. Nick Campbell) in Hard Hats and Training Gear.
Oh, by the way, if you know of anyone who is looking for an slightly worn warrior for the Lord, look me up...I need a job!