Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I'm a COG, URACOG


I guess this makes it official: I really am a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Winnsboro.

My nametag was a bit of a shock. And I think it may have been a shock for my Garland peeps to see me with another church. But everything else last weekend was so comfortable and felt sooo “normal” that I soon forgot that I now belonged to a different congregation. And when I saw so many old friends from churches all over Texas I realized we’re all members of one great big church that sometimes goes by different names. We are each one of us part of the whole body of Christ.

The day Beaven and I joined the church in Winnsboro, their youth director, Kelly Holloman, announced that she is pregnant with their second child. Not only is she scheduled to deliver around the same time as the Duchess of Cornwall,  she also shares a bit of the same morning sickness problem.  So she immediately put me to work as their substitute sponsor to the Senior High Youth Connection.  I was in heaven.

We spent the weekend playing mostly. But once in a while we would gather to be reminded that we are all children of a God who loves us. A God who gave us brains and expects us to use them.
Here’s what I learned:

I am a child of God, sealed by the Holy Spirit, marked as Christ’s forever and nothing anybody can say or do will ever make that not true
* I learned that God doesn’t give me a road map. God gives me gas for the trip. (This is an important point. Presbyterians have been tagged with that whole "Predestination" label and we spend a lot of time explaining it to other people as well as ourselves.)

* There are ten body parts with three letters in their name. And it takes a group of 8 people a lot longer than you might think to come up with all ten. But eventually we named them all. I dare you to try it.

*  It takes a lot of guts to provide 4 rolls of toilet paper to around 40 groups of teenagers then leave the doors unlocked for two days. I was personally amazed at their restraint.

* You are a Child of God. And if you want to text it fast it comes up: URACOG.

Presbyterians are good at doing things as the body of Christ. From worship to mission we are all about doing things as a community. No independent individualists here. Except for a few things like bathing we prefer to do things as a group. This is what makes us so good at mission. If you hurt, I hurt.

Every time you get more than two Presbyterians together we start looking for ways to share God's love so you can expect a mission project.  This year it was in conjunction with Kids Against Hunger

First we all had to put on hair nets.  You can always tell you're going to have fun when hair nets are involved.

We  filled bags with a special combination of rice, textured vegetable protein, vegetables and flavoring. The bags will be sent to Honduras to help mal-nourished children on the brink of starvation.  You just add water and have a nutritious and tasty meal.  One of the girls in my group had tasted one of these meals and she said they're really good.

It was the Body of Christ at work: some of us scooped the four ingredients, some held the bags under a funnel while others scooped, some sealed the bags, others packed the bags, sealed the boxes, stacked the boxes and then a collection of roving muscles would periodically refill the tubs from 50 pound bags of rice or the textured protein.


Our goal was to assemble 60,000 meals in two and a half hours. Working in shifts, we were so well-organized and efficient we assembled 60,150 meals in two hours.  The only thing that stopped us was that we used up all the rice.

So we celebrated with a dance and a talent show while others walked a labyrinth in a quiet room down the hall and upstairs. We had something for everyone because each Child of God is different.

Then, just to prove my point that we are all interconnected with one another, when I woke up this morning, one of my friends from Guatemala, Karla Cordon,  posted this on facebook:


See?  It's universal.  'nuf said.

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