inner stillness: when everything is all the same to you, and you live for the day, and you are not dreaming and waiting

john r. harrison

my other websites
The United Methodist Churches of Sheldon, Bronaugh, and Moundville

The Southwest District of the Missouri West Conference of The United Methodist Church

The Rotary Club of Nevada, Missouri

The Beloit, Kansas, High School Class of 1960

The Academy for Spiritual formation #17

books I've been reading
Communion, Community, Commonweal: Readings for Spiritual Leadership, by John S. Mogabgab

The Ascent of a Leader: How Ordinary Relationships Develop Extraordinary Character and Influence, by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, and Ken McElrath

The Catholic Imagination, by Andrew Greeley

Spiritual Guides for the 21st Century: Faith Stories of the Protestant Reformers

Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ, by Dallas Willard

movies I'd like to see
American Splendor


Lost in Translation

The Station Agent

Winged Migration

sermons in process
Ruth 1:1-18--"Why Go with Me?"

Mark 12:38-44--"Abundance and Poverty"

1 Samuel 1:4-20--"The Desperation of Hannah"

John 18:33-37--"An Interrogation"

Malachi 3:1-4--"Messages and Messengers"

lectures on tape in my car
Introduction to Renaissance Literature

Dante's Life and Times

Dante's Literary Antecedents

Erasmus, In Praise of Folly

Introduction to Shakespeare


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Sunday, January 20

Today Bronaugh held its bi-monthly administrative council meeting. Although I’m always tired before they begin, because they are noon meetings after I’ve conducted three worship services and driven fifty miles, I always look forward to them because they are preceded by a dinner. And the food is great. We have only fifteen or twenty attend these events, but the cooks--whoever they may be--always seem to be trying something new. I mean, these are special events. For the food alone, I wish we could have these dinners monthly. Anyway, a major item on the agenda for the council meeting was children’s ministry. How can we get more children in our Sunday School? Should we do a survey? Should we somehow work through the local public schools? (This town has a population of about 200, but is the center of a school district.) I listened quietly through all the discussion. Then, I was asked if I had anything to say on this topic. I declined, saying that I was just listening. Actually, I wanted to say something, but I wasn’t sure how to say it without upsetting a bunch of people. What I wanted to say was this: “Why don’t we invite parents to attend our Sunday School? That would be a sure way of getting their children to attend, because they probably would not come alone.” The reason I did not say this is that half the adults attending this meeting--the leaders of the church--do not themselves attend Sunday School classes. They show up only for worship. I guess I’m a believer in modeling behavior and invitational evangelism. That is, we build our churches by being involved in them ourselves and then inviting others to get involved. But here, sitting beside me, were about a half-dozen adults, expressing concern for the absence of children in Sunday School, but not attending themselves. Go figure.

I am trying to get a missions project started that involves all three congregations. One of the pains of a three-point charge is that it seems I am doing everything three times. The project has no precedent as being based in a multiple-point charge. All the promotional material speaks of it as being a project for individual churches. Well, mine are too small to take on the financial obligation of this project, so I’m trying to split it three ways. One congregation approved this last month. The project is to provide $900 a year for three years to support a pastor in Mozambique. That works out to $300 a year for each congregation. That breaks down to $25 a month, less that $6 a week. One can barely buy a meal for that. But still, it seems like a gut-wrenching decision for Christians. And they couldn’t even put it in the budget. Instead, they suggested a free-will offering. Well, at least they approved it. I should be happy for that. And now to get Sheldon to approve it also. That will probably be more difficult. They can barely pay their apportionments.

posted by John Harrison at 7:30 PM

thinking links

Alan Colmes

America Held Hostile

American Civil Liberties Union

America's War On Terrorism is about oil

The Association of World Citizens

Barnes & Noble



Bush Occupation

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Common Cause

Common Dreams

A Common Reader



Democratic Underground


Doc Searls Weblog

Earth Education

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Guardian Unlimited

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International A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)

Journal of the Hyperlinked Organzation

Let's talk sense

Liberal Slant

London Review of Books





The Nation

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Nothing Like the Truth

Political Strikes

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The Upper Room


Young Democrats of America