Ratios

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Another year gone by. Another Relay for Life – actionchurch style – in the books. If I had to describe this year’s Relay in one word (which I rarely do) – it would be – peaceful. I’m grateful for Rachel’s phenomenal planning skills – and I’m certain that her organizational expertise had a lot to do with this year’s successful event. And, actionchurch could never be a part of Relay to begin with – if it weren’t for Michele’s generous spirit and heart for serving the community. But – it was more than years of relay experience that made this event different. It’s hard to explain in written words (without my normal hand motions when I speak). If you were a part of Relay this year, perhaps you felt it too.

The tent was full – like always. The ratio of servers to those being served was almost perfect. Enough survivors and caregivers enjoying the evening that we had to hustle – but not rush. The food was extraordinary – like always. The ratio of crabcakes to consumers was over the top! Everyone walked away with full bellies, our crew had an opportunity for fellowship and we were still able to bless the first responders in our community with abundance. The weather was humid – like always. The amount of sweat was in direct correlation to the temperature. I don’t think I will ever get the ratio of butter pats to salad dressing correct – but that’s kind of a given 😀

So, all in all – not a whole lot has changed from previous years at the survivor banquet…..but there was a sense of peace and tranquility that I can’t remember experiencing in years past.

And – I’m pretty sure the rational is God.

From the very first Relay for Life that my family and I participated in with actionchurch God has always been at the very center of the event for me. I remember being moved to tears at the luminaria ceremony and how God called me and encouraged me to become an even bigger participant the next year….and the next year….and the next year. And I remember the year we added more children’s activities and the years we served breakfast for ALL the participants and praying that God would provide the resources and the volunteers. He showed up in such a big way that no one could question that God was solely responsible for the success of our endeavors.

Don’t get me wrong – there were always bumps in the road, friends with new cancer diagnosis and challenges to be overcome. But the resolution to the hiccups along the way always pointed to our Lord and Savior being at the heart of the crazy whirlwind of preparation and the back breaking, muscle aching, blister making thing we call Relay for Life.

But – THIS year – the ratio changed for me. The element of calm within the tent on that muggy, hot, humid football field was 100% God infused peace – 0% stress and worry. Gang, it was a great lesson for me. It was just SUCH an amazing feeling that I want to replicate in my personal life. I want to feel 100% – all the time – every day – completely infused with God’s peace. And I want that for you too!

So – thanks to all of you – the old guard from the Crew…..and all of our new friends who joined together in humble service. Thanks for making my job easy. Thanks for using your vacation days and Friday night to serve others. Thanks for showing God’s love to me…..and to the cancer survivors and their caregivers.

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Bring your dog to church recap

 

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:33

First kiss – pretty exciting
First time behind the wheel – terrifying for the passenger.
First time meeting the in-laws – a little intimidating.
First labor/delivery/child – a lot scary.
First loser (i.e. 2nd place) – maybe bitter OR determined to get better.
First Bark in the Park – fun for all ! …..(Except the guys carrying the bounce house)

Firsts always involve a lot of emotion. They can be a bit scary or intimidating. As humans I think we have a natural tendency to fear the unknown. It’s a normal reaction. Firsts are always learning experiences. Most of us are willing to give something a try and then figure out a way to make it better the next time. But, sometimes – Firsts can be crazy exciting and loads of fun, too!

This past Sunday we actually had – not one – but two FIRSTS in the history of our church. That in itself is pretty darned exciting if you ask me!

BRING YOUR DOG TO CHURCH was a first that definitely fell into the scary category. It was something new – something different – something we’ve never done at actionchurch. When we pitched the idea we knew that it would either be a dreadful mistake or a barking success. So – when the preacher told me the dogs were well behaved in church – I marked that in the win category!

And the second first for actionchurch this week – (sounding like an Abbot and Costello remix…..”Wait! Who’s on first?”) – was the American Cancer Society’s BARK FOR LIFE Honestly I have to tell you – I wasn’t the least bit apprehensive about actionchurch’s first time involvement.

The event itself was brand new – a first – but the concept remained the same. Take our generously given resources and serve others. Plain and simple. The bounce houses are still heavy, but they were new for the kids who were bouncing. (Besides mine.) The shaved ice stand is still sticky, the sno-cones are still free, but they were a new and surprising treat for those that never experienced actionchurch in action.

From the very first days of actionchurch our whole philosophy has been to serve others first. Think about it – every week entire crews of people voluntarily give their time to provide a church “service”. Every time we go out into the community to stage an event, our focus is to love and serve. By investing our time and our money we’re showing that we’re dedicated to putting the needs of others before ourselves.

Mark 9:35 tells us what Jesus said to his disciples about being first – “Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”

I think when we stick to the basics we can’t go wrong. Loving God and seeking Him first. Loving and serving others before ourselves. Taking action by showing Christ-like behavior to the world. Win/win the first time and every time.

Love


At actionchurch our creed is pretty specific – and short – and easy to understand.

Love God
Love people
Take action

Short, sweet, simple.

Maybe.

What is love? The more I think about it – the more I wonder if our simple little slogan isn’t bigger than we think. Love and action are pretty big words when you get right down to it.

Love could mean different things to different people. And love – is one of those words that could have different meanings at different times. For instance – if I have a cold/flu/headache – I want my family to show me love by just being quiet, leaving me alone ( JUST STAY AWAY FROM ME!!!!) and not killing each other. But – other times, love to me at least, means noise and laughter and togetherness and kids running around like crazy……

At actionchurch when we have questions we turn to one source. Jesus and his Word. Chapter 13 in 1st Corinthians lays it out by telling us “Love is patient, love is kind.” It goes on to say that love isn’t envious or proud or angry; love protects and trusts and hopes and perseveres. So – that’s what love IS……

But – what does love look like?

Well, last night, at least – love looked like a big black square room turned in to a beautiful, softly lit banquet hall with gorgeous flower arrangements and great music playing in the background. Love looked like people who worked all day and then rushed to North York to work some more by serving dinner, moving tables, scrubbing dishes, pouring coffee. At the cancer survivor banquet, love looked like your weekly donations turned in to hugs and support and encouragement for a group of people struggling to face tomorrow.

In the end – all I really know is that I’m proud to be a part of a church that demonstrates love through action. You see…..one isn’t really effective without the other. It’s the combination of the two that can and WILL change the world. Thank you for loving AND taking action.

A fine line

It’s a fine line between plagiarization and quotes. Don’t ask me how I know – but when your mom gets that email/text/call from the teacher that goes something like this……

“Yes, Mrs. __________ – it was a really fine poster. The colors were awesome and the handwriting was very neat. However, the content was plagiarized directly from the World Book Encyclopedia.”

The correct answer is NOT –

“Well, mom, you bought me those books and they were darned expensive. Besides – those people who write those things are really really smart and I didn’t think I could say it any better than they did.”

It’s a fine line.

At actionchurch, we quote the bible. A lot. We believe the things that Jesus said and we believe that we couldn’t possibly say it any better. The things that Jesus said were so wise and He was so smart that the stories He shared are still relevant today.

One of the things Jesus (and His disciples) said over and over in different ways was that we are to love others.

“…love your neighbor as yourself…..” Mark 12:31
“Keep on loving one another….” Hebrews 13:1-1
“Above all, love each other deeply….” 1 Peter 4:8
“Be devoted to one another in love…” Romans 12:10

Please notice the abundant use of quotes.

But, the really great thing about actionchurch is that we don’t just talk about Jesus. We don’t just quote bible verses. We take action. We cross the line. In lots of different ways. And, we have the perfect opportunity for you to take action AND copy Jesus.

On Wednesday February 8th we’re throwing the doors of actionchurch wide open and inviting cancer survivors from all over York County to enjoy an evening of great food and fellowship. Anyone who wants to come out, serve, and love others is encouraged to come to the church at 4:00 on Wednesday and simply demonstrate Jesus’ love for others in a very real way. It isn’t plagiarizing – I promise!

If you’ve been with actionchurch for any length of time, you know that we are great at showing our love by feeding people! If you are new to actionchurch, this would be a perfect way for you to get to know people inside the church AND to love people outside the church.

Love God. Love people. Take action.
(I plagiarize that one every time I get the chance!)

BOH Graduation Banquet- 10/2/16

window cog

Last Sunday, we announced our next opportunity to serve neighbors in our community. If you haven’t yet heard, actionchurch will have the privilege to host the fall meeting for nearly 100 people from Bridge of Hope­York County. Bridge of Hope (BOH) is a local non­profit offering a church ­based approach to end homelessness. Volunteers from several area churches­­ including actionchurch­­ provide support for moms and their children as they transition from homelessness and build new lives.  Plus, this meeting is extra­special because there’s a mom graduating from the program!

As always, we need YOUR help! Please plan to stay after church on S unday, October 2nd to help us move chairs, set up tables, and sweep donut crumbs so that everything is in place for the event. Come at 3pm to help welcome guests, pour drinks, serve dinner and dessert. And, if you have your clearances, come help give our “under­ 12” guests an unforgettable time in actionkids during the event.

If you’re new to actionchurch, I hope that you will volunteer. Come meet and hang out with fellow actionchurchers as we welcome strangers, serve a catered meal, entertain restless children, and live out how we Love God, Love People, Take Action. And if you’ve volunteered before (and survived muddy Relays, stubborn bounce houses, or even creepy Easter Bunnies at the park) we’re counting on you to show up and help make this event special for BOH!

Have questions? See Jennifer at the sign­up table at church Sunday or email

info@actionchurch.com