Then go to this website, and share: https://beadonor.ca/
Canada has one of the lowest organ donation rates in the western world. Too many people are taking with them what they no longer need, leaving hundreds of others to die needlessly every year. It’s a market problem with a social solution. Yes, organ donation can be a complicated issue, but sharing what you were lucky to have is no different a donation than any other. Now Canada may be considering going the way of countries such as Australia who made it automatic that people be donors – unless they said otherwise. A form of presumed consent. But should we not give our consent freely in the hope that we can save lives? We are reminded in John 15:13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Have the conversation with your family, make sure your wishes are known. If you need to be inspired, check out these videos of Helene Campbell, a young Ottawa woman recently saved by a double lung transplant. http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20120525/presumed-consent-organ-donation-120525/
Then go to this website, and share: https://beadonor.ca/
Here’s an interesting profile, that ran in the Globe and Mail, about Jeffrey Skoll, the only Canadian among 81 billionaires to sign the Giving Pledge, an initiative started a couple years ago wen Bill Gates and Warran Buffet started asking the richest people in the world to stop hoarding their wealth and give it to a good cause. When he is done, Mr. Skoll, the past president of eBay, will have given away 95 per cent of his wealth. He is one of just 20 people in the world to donate $1-billion to charity. Those are numbers nearly impossible for most of us to imagine. But as the gospel tell us, when we give all that we are able – in time, talent and treasure – every penny is counted.
For more information on generosity visit Jeff Pym’s bloat http://easternsynod.org/ministries/stewardship-and-resource-development/
Making Beautiful Music Together
It’s not hard to convince any parent of the value of music in their child’s life. Now new research has suggested that in addition to any intellectual benefits or study skills that learning an instrument may provide, participating in music as a group may also teach kids empathy and compassion. The study, which came out of the University of Cambridge, looked at 52 girls and boys – one group were assigned to a music group, and two other groups who weren’t. Researchers found that the kids in the music group, who had to follow their peers and work together, demonstrated higher levels of emotional intelligence – in other words, a stronger sense or awareness and empathy for others. (There was a bit more involved in the study, and if you’d like to know about it, you can read an article here: http://www.psmag.com/culture/making-music-together-increases-kids-empathy-41627/
And here’s the good (of obvious) news: where’s a natural and great place for kids to practice music together? Church! But outside of Christmas pageants (and “identified” youth services, how deliberate are we being about giving our youth room to demonstrate and practice their music skills? Are we recruiting youth into our choirs (even if it means we have to adjust the anthems a little bit?) Are we choosing hymns and music that appeal to our youth? Are we being sure to seek out the musical talent in our pews, and asking if they’d like to perform during service – even if it means a squeaky violin performance of Ode to Joy? What about reaching out to the community and offering up the church as a natural place to foster the communal enjoyment of music: At St. John’s, we have sponsored a highly successful community children’s choir which just performed to a packed crowd in the church on the weekend, and raised hundreds of dollars towards a new women’s medical clinic at the local homeless shelter.
All you need to do is pluck an earphone out of a teen’s ear, to know how important music is. Now research confirms, what the church has always known: making music together also helps make us better people.
To learn more about what the Eastern Synod is saying about the importance of Music Ministry check out Debbie Lou Ludolf’s blog at: http://easternsynod.org/ministries/worship/
Can You Put God In a Box?
We can have conversations with God in many ways: while out enjoying nature, in the car on a long drive (just ask Pastor Riitta), by the side of our bed at night, or watching the sun rise in the morning while we have a cup of coffee. But how often do we write down our prayers? A new book, The God Box, is highlighting the practice of writing down your cares and worries, or your wishes for God – those secrets or concerns that you wish God might hear – and putting them in a box. Pyschologists suggest that the practice helps people connect to God (or a higher power of their definition) and also is symbolic of faith, the posture of trusting that God will be there for us. The author of the book, Mary Lou Quinlan, actually found boxes left by her mother, who died in 2006, in which she had written down her prayers to God. One example, cited in the Globe and Mail: “Dear Lord: Protect my good health – my eyes – my family – my dear husband. Protect Jack in decisions in his job. Protect Marylou and Joe in their jobs.”
Sharing our concerns and worries with God, especially if they are moving us forward, by putting them in a box, sounds like a healthy practice – so long as we don’t forget to play our part. That means listening when God, and the Christ-figures in our lives, try to show us how to face those fears, or improve our relationships. Our connection to God is not meant to be a one way conversation – where we put our worries in a box and wait for God to fix them. We must do the work, as the gospel lays it out for us – and that work is often hard and challenging.
If you like the idea of writing down your prayers, how about trying to add to your God Box all the things that you are thankful for, all the dreams accomplished, and the special everyday moments that stand out for you.
Then years later, if your kids find your God Box, they will know, not just what you fretted about, but, more importantly, what you cherished.
If you would like to read more about The God Box, here’s the piece in the Globe: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/the-god-box-transferring-your-troubles-to-a-higher-authority/article2443574/
Better to eat a dry crust of bread with peace of mind than to have a banquet in a house full of trouble. Proverbs 17:1
We live in the banquet world where just about everything we want is presented for our consumption. For the most part, Canadians are not living off of the dry crust. If we were honest most of us throw that part away for the succulence of the centre.
A recent study shows that one in five teens suffer from obesity.http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2012/05/22/imp-read-teenagers-in-2012-at-increased-risk-for-heart-disease/?ss=strategies-solutionsHow much of what teens suffer from is a result of learned behaviour. What are they watching at home, in school, at church?
We Lutherans love our pot-lucks. What kind of behaviour do we model within the church? We know the freedom that Christ wants for us. We have plenty of examples of practicing well-being throughout our sacred text. How often do we encourage healthy behaviour at our church gatherings? What do we do to model well-being for our youth and young adults?
I recently visited a youth room at a ‘new-line’ church here in Ottawa. I was blown away by the facility and it even had popcorn, pop, and candy bars for the youth and young adults who showed up Sunday morning. “It certainly brings out the kids”, I was told by my guide.
I love the odd treat. You only need to look at me to see that I do. If I were to define a ‘thorn in my side’ those treats would be one of them. But I have a responsibility to myself and to others to model behaviour that gives life. We as a community of faith have that same responsibility.
What are you doing to model well-being for youth and young adults?