reflection

Called to live in hope

Reverend Ibrahim Nsier stands in front of the site where his congregation, the Arab Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Aleppo, Syria, worshipped before the building was bombed. (Photo courtesy of Reverend Ibrahim Nsier)

In his own words, Reverend Ibrahim Nsier, a pastor of the Arab Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Aleppo, tells about his ministry in Syria. Mennonite Central Committee, through the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches, supports the work of Nsier’s church as it addresses the urgent needs of the most vulnerable.

Circles of Sabbath

My hand rested on the shelf of books and I looked at the title of the volume under my palm. It was the same book that I'd remembered.
 
Another time, in the same small library, I'd pulled the book off the shelf and read it straight through in one evening. I'd resolved to live my life differently. To remember Sabbath… rest. Balance, rhythm, and the health and joy of God's gift of the Sabbath. 
 
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At the corner of comedy and tragedy

About ten years back I was the caretaker of an apartment block that a church had renovated to provide low-rent stable apartments in Winnipeg's West End.  The visionary and work-horse of this and many other projects was the late Harry Lehotsky.  I can still remember coming back to the apartment one evening seeing two faces peering out of what should have been an empty basement suite.  I went to check it out and there was Harry and the superintendent who oversaw all the blocks.  They were on a 'steak-

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Reflection on Listening

Three times in one day, I was reminded of the need to listen. Worship in the morning focused on listening for God's voice, trying to calm our own voices and chattering to hear what God says.

Later, a social gathering with voices overlapping in a crowd of people needing to talk told me the importance of having someone to listen and the human need to express one's voice and be heard.

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A Prayer Week Reflection

To start off the school year, I decided to make the first week a personal prayer week. Although I usually prefer this kind of commitment together with others, like Will's efforts with reading through the Bible, the crazy-ness of getting back to Harrisonburg, starting a new semester teaching, and trying to finish off data collection with my research project make meeting with others regularly a challenge, and creating space for my own time of re-centering a must.

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