Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rainbow Camp

After a week away in MA, I've returned to the "it's not the heat, it's the humidity" of a Maryland summer. This morning, I'm heading down to Claggett Center (where Beloved Husband works) to do the morning chapel service for the kids at Rainbow Camp.

Rainbow Camp is for children and middle school youth who are either infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. A few of the kids are HIV positive, but most have family members who have HIV/AIDS. Some know about it, and some do not. They all come up from inner-city Baltimore for a week at camp where they swim, hike, do the ropes challenge course ... everything a kid can possibly do at camp to have fun.

HIV/AIDS is not on our collective radar scope the way it was 20 years ago when it was discovered and named. Pharmaceutical companies have developed powerful anti-retroviral drugs to improve the lifespan of HIV patients and their quality of life. Some even believe that getting HIV is no big deal because of these drugs. But not so ... they are expensive drugs and the side effects are pretty severe.

The best treatment for HIV/AIDS is still prevention. Get smart - know the facts - take precautions. It's a stewardship issue - the stewardship of your body and health.

And while you're at it, say a prayer for these kids this week. They are remarkable and resilient young people!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Alban Institute - 2009-07-13 A Place that Offers Life

"Here's the hard truth. If you're a layperson in a congregation that's experiencing decline, whether the congregation thrives is ultimately up to you and the other members."

I've served in congregations where the prevailing opinion is, "We called you to be our pastor to reverse our decline in numbers." Well ... no, that's just not how it works. This article reiterates that the driving forced behind church renewal does not come from the collars, but from the people who belong to the congregation.

Look it up in the Catechism ... BCP page 855:

Q. Who are the ministers of the Church?
A. The ministers of the Church are lay persons, bishops,
priests, and deacons.

Notice that "lay persons" is listed first - there's a reason!

The Alban Institute - 2009-07-13 A Place that Offers Life

Shared via AddThis