Member Mission Network Newsletter #123

Contents: A CEO helps non-profits in GhanaTransformational . . . responsibility on us . . . a less intimidating manner”Resource: Culture of Intolerance: Chauvinism, Class, and Racism in the United StatesMember Mission ProverbSermon fodder for summer preachingHintMeditation: Frances Perkins on Christians in politicse-books

A CEO helps non-profits in Ghana

(6:50 min. video)

[Kristin once worked for the US Government in foreign aid projects.  Do be patient with background noise.]
00:00 – Kristin’s company helps non-profits to assist developing countries with economic, agricultural, and environmental projects
00:44 – In Ghana to observe feeding and renewable energy programs
01:10 – A startling project to convert the fecal waste in latrines into an odorless energy source.
01:48 – One key: convert people from open defecation to using latrines so that fecal matter can be secured for processing into energy cubes
02:02 – Second key: motivate and train companies to drain latrines so that the waste can be processed and motivate and train other companies to use the product instead of coal
02:40 – She calls this work a “mission” and sees God having put her on the path to it
04:01 – Africa will make some unusual contributions and become a norm in the future
05:26 – Member mission’s work helps people talk this way to see both their own free will and how God works in their lives in specific circumstances
06:43 – Thank you, Kristin

“Transformational . . . responsibility on us . . . a less intimidating manner”

Greetings, Wayne.  First, thank you for sending the information I requested.  I referenced your work in a workshop on 3/15.  I even shared with the attendees the seven areas of daily life for mission.  They were just as blown away as I was.  People of God still need help applying biblical principles in our daily lives.  Your approach – the seven areas – can help people see themselves and that is transformational in/of itself!  The member mission puts the responsibility directly on each of us in a less intimidating manner!  The information is so relevant that it has driven my desire to be more missional for the greater good of our church and those we are called to serve.  Thank you for the inordinate amount of time/research you dedicated to this project.  May God continue to bless the work of your hands – all for His glory!
– Rev. Judy Johnson-Truitt, Roseboro, NC<

Resource: Culture of Intolerance: Chauvinism, Class, and Racism in the United States

This book by Mark Nathan Cohen (Yale University Press, 1998) is becoming ever more timely.  We so often fail to understand the limited nature of our basic convictions and values as largely conditioned by our surrounding relationships and living conditions.  When we meet opposite convictions and values, we tend to think they are wrong.  It is easy to convince ourselves that we must fight these opposite convictions and values as “enemies” to our own.  Once in that stance, intolerance comes easily.  Cohen outlines the sources of intolerance in many areas including ideas about sexual difference, race, property, progress, efficiency, competence, intelligence, and inequality.

Member Mission Proverb

“Anything worth doing will not be finished in your lifetime.”

– Attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr

Sermon fodder for summer preaching and teaching

“How Greed Destroys America” by Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com, June, 28,201;

A liberal’s assessment of where we are and how hard it will be to make a change.  Parry is an American investigative journalist best known for his role in covering the Iran-Contra affair for the Associated Press and Newsweek. He broke the Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare (CIA manual provided to the Nicaraguan contras) and the CIA and Contras’ cocaine trafficking in the US scandal in 1985.

Hint for mission:

If you like the member mission stuff, see Basic Tool 1A: Some First Steps in a Theology for Member Mission

Meditation: Frances Perkins on Christians in politics

“Christians must regard entrance into politics and political activity as a major basic Christian duty, and they must enter it as Christians.”  Note her belief, now enshrined in the collect for her feast day, “that the special vocation of the laity is to conduct the secular affairs of society that all may be maintained in health and decency.”  After engaging in settlement house work, safety inspections, and other local activities on behalf of the community, she served in the administrations of New York governors Al Smith and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

As Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor, 1933-45, she sponsored Social Security, workers’ compensation insurance, and the minimum wage.  She advocates that those who wish to promote the common good begin at the local level. Authority grows from engaging a small project close to home.  Christians can exercise their moral judgment there and thus develop a true authority that enables them to address problems at the state, national, or international levels later on.   For Perkins, politics and economics are part of moral theology. Politics addresses the ordering of society and economics as the way people make their living.  She repeatedly asserts that God’s laws must take precedence over human law, and what matters is not strict adherence to human interpretations of civil law but the moral welfare and moral improvement of actual people.

The Living Church, May 4, 2014

e-books

When the Members are the Missionaries and Living the Gospel are available at xlibris.com for about $3.95