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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sept 09 Update on This 'n That ~ Part Deux

Things keep rolling along and there are fun things to update:

Eden Reforestation Projects - lots of cool stuff going on:
  • This year we were able to put 1.6 million seedlings into the ground. Our collective survival rate is about 85% which is really high for reforestation work. The total in Madagascar is 2.15 million -- so our global total is 3.8 million and will likely hit 4 million. This is especially thrilling because our goal was 3 million trees planted.
  • We just lined up a sponsor partnership with Simple Shoes -- until October 17 if people go to the website and select "click here to plant trees" then Eden will receive a dollar for each person who submits their email address. We're hoping people will spread this through their own social networks (hint, hint), but that will greatly broaden Eden visibility.
  • I spoke last week for Eden in Long Beach at the National Superintendents' meeting for the Free Methodist Church, and am headed up to Seattle in October to speak at the Pastors' Day for the Pacific Northwest Conference of the Free Methodist church.
Youth Ministry Architects:
  • I just got back last night from a 3-day project in the western suburbs of Chicago, which was a follow up from another trip in June. This one was a "visioning retreat," where we worked with a good group of folks from the church to pull together a 3-year plan for their youth ministry. I love helping people lay solid foundations for youth ministry!
  • I am still working with churches in Nebraska and Arizona, and am picking up a new church in Seattle next month. I am gaining great experience in learning how to equip others in youth ministry from a broad spectrum of location and experience.
Providence Hall High School:
  • I'm happy to report that our first parenting seminar, "Providence Presents," came off successfully. Someone who attended counted 112 people in attendance Our next one is scheduled for Oct. 28.
  • We have our student retreat next week - I thought I was done with going to camp. But apparently not.... thankfully, I LOVE these students, so that will make it worth it. Camp #101, here I come!
I'm grateful for several youth ministry-related blogs running my articles, and Youthworker Journal is publishing another one of mine in the November/December issue on local service. The pay is next to nothing -- but at least I'm in print, right?!

Final thoughts... yes, I love sharing the work stuff with each of you. I'm enjoying this time of unknowns (yes, I'm really saying that), creativity, exploration and risk. But ultimately, where I am the most deeply moved is in how my faith is growing from so much challenge and change.

I read this today from Henri Nouwen, and it resonated:
Keeping Close to the Word of Jesus

The words of Jesus can keep us erect and confident in the midst of the turmoil of the end-time. They can support us, encourage us, and give us life even when everything around us speaks of death. Jesus' words are food for eternal life. They do much more than give us ideas and inspiration. They lead us into the eternal life while we are still being clothed in mortal flesh.

When we keep close to the word of Jesus, reflecting on it, "chewing" on it, eating it as food for the soul, we will enter even more deeply into the everlasting love of God.

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