Sunday starts Stewardship Week!
Nancy and I finished our vacation with a couple of days in Vancouver where we visited Canada Place, the iconic building you saw several times during the 2010 Winter Olympics whose roof resembles white sails. We greatly enjoyed Stanley Park, which is 1.5 miles square. It offers beautiful gardens, the Vancouver Aquarium, a First Nations exhibit and amazing views of Greater Vancouver.
Our second day in Vancouver we visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (http://www.capbridge.com/). This is the creation of a wealthy logger back in 1889 that loved to hunt and was tired of wasting a good part of the day walking the long path down the gorge to get to his favorite hunting grounds. So he built a 449-foot suspension bridge across the gorge. He did not anticipate the tourist attraction his creation would become, 700,000 persons visited the park last year.
The bridge has been rebuilt three times and now with steel cables and concrete bases to anchor the bridge it will hold 200,000 pounds or the weight of a 747 jet. The bridge sits 26 stories above the Capilano River. In 1983 the daughter of a previous owner took over the park and under her guidance they added experiences like Cliff Walker and Tree Tops Adventure to compliment the suspension bridge. What a thrill it is to literally walk beside a cliff and see things only a rock climber can experience or to walk 30 feet above the forest floor between eight trees. If you ever go to Vancouver I think this experience is a must.
Sunday we took a picnic lunch up to the Mt. Baker National Park were we experienced some amazing views of Mt. Shuksan, elevation 9,131 feet. Locals tell us that Picture Lake is one of the most photographed spots in the world. I posted my amateur attempt today on my Facebook page. Search RevJerry Rairdon and Friend me to see that picture.
Deborah Hartman has been working hard to finish up details on the Stewardship Dinners. We have been disappointed so far in the response. We have received RSVP’s for around 100 people from 500 invited. Dick Richwine’s Extravagant Generosity Team is going to make some follow up calls but don’t have time to call everyone so if you are still interested please call the church office 359-9651 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I finished putting the presentation together yesterday and I think you will find the dinner meaningful and informative. For example, did you know that our giving to date is up $13,278 over last year?
We also received word this week that Matthew Phipps is now officially appointed by the Indiana Conference to Old Bethel UMC. This provides Matthew with sacramental privileges and the authority to perform weddings in the state of Indiana. I have really appreciated Matthew’s contributions this year. He is someone wise beyond his years and has a great gift of discernment. Be sure to congratulate him.
The staff wanted me to help put the word out that you should be careful in offering cash aid to beggars. We have had some recent incidents of people asking for help in our parking lot. We suggest that you say to them that you give to the church Angel Fund and they should direct their need to the church office. We would suggest you use the same strategy no matter where you are. I’ve been told by the director of the Indy Homeless Coalition that when you give cash aid to someone on the street you are typically either being defrauded or you are discouraging them from going to the agencies that can offer more comprehensive and long-term help.
This Sunday we will discover the challenges the people of Israel faced as they entered the Land of Canaan. We will hear God calling for his people to make a conscious choice as to who will rule their lives. It is a choice we still have to make today. In preparation read Joshua 24:14-24.
See you Sunday,