Pastor Henry's Memo

January 2020

Boomerang BackPacks

Calvary United Methodist Church celebrates children helping children by collecting loose change and paper currency each week to fund Boomerang BackPacks.  We conclude our weekly children's sermon by pulling a wagon down the center aisle with a jar in it.  Into that jar offerings are made for said Backpacks.  Across the Syracuse neighborhoods such things are done in different ways providing money for school kids so they won't be hungry on weekends.  In a place like Syracuse, Indiana, it may be hard to believe there are hungry children.  There are.  Our school system provides these Boomerang BackPacks to try to alleviate some of that hunger.  Calvary UMC is a part of this effort.  Feeding the hungry is always a charitable endeavor.  Feeding hungry children only makes the enterprise more important.  Would that no child was ever hungry.  We will continue to do our best to do our part for this necessary ministry.  And as your pastor, I am proud of my congregation as it steps forward with loose pocket change and much more for hungry kids.   

God bless you all.

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RIP, Andre, the Giant

Andre's leash still hangs on a hook by the front door of my daughter's home in Colorado. Andre, the Giant was a 175 pound Great Dane rescue dog.  He was a very gentle giant.  He was Sarah and Josh's pet for almost five years. With Ponce de Leon, their cat, grandson Jack rounded out their five member family.  Andre died while Sarah, Josh, and Jack were vacationing in Indiana this past fall.  It was quite a shock.  Andre seemed in good health.  Then suddenly and unexpectedly he fell dead.  Sadness befell three families.  His ashes are encased in a decorative box provided by their veterinarian and rests on the bureau in their front room along with his collar.  And his leash hangs by the front door.  His family isn't ready to let him go.  The leash, the collar, and his ashes bear witness to his having been a member of the family.  They are in no rush to forget.  And these simple reminders of his place in the family are more than comforting.  They speak to a very ancient reality about the relationship between humans and their pets, especially dogs.  Man's Best Friend is recognized almost universally as the dog.  It doesn't matter if it’s a purebred for breeding or a mutt of indistinguishable heritage, dogs have been our companions and friends for untold centuries.  Andre, the Giant was one family's best friend in a most agreeable way.  One day his cremains will likely be sprinkled along the paths he walked and the fields where he played.  For now, they lie in wait for a final resting place.  If it's true all dogs go to heaven, Andre will have been rescued one last time.  For that, a half dozen or so human beings will rejoice.  RIP Andre, the Giant.

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year!  A.D. 2020 ushers in a new decade to this 21st Century.  A.D. is the abbreviation for the Latin Anno Domini: the Year of Our Lord.  It is placed before the stated year.  It is a distinctly Christian designation for the time since the birth of Jesus.  The abbreviation is often times not used for inclusive purposes.  In its place are often the three letters CE: Common Era.  That designation marks the year without declaring any religious or theological reference.  For our Jewish cousins it's year 5780.  These are the years from the beginning of the world according to the Jewish calendar.  Muslims mark this year as 1441 according to their tradition and is not related to Muhammad's birth, but to another event about which I know nothing.  I'm sure all this numbering is of small import to us as we begin a new decade.  However, there are other measuring systems in other cultures.  The human family does not mark time on a calendar the same way.  Just the same, 2020 is the most used and recognized dating number in the world, with or without A.D.  Marking time and passing the time are two different things and we should know the difference.  The one is a calendar thing.  The other is our life.  It passes and progresses and the days add up.  I encourage you to use your time and make a life worthy of its span of years.  Some day there will be a marker with two dates on it for all of us.  What happened between them is what will have mattered, not the calendar by which they were measured.  

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