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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Favorite Month - May

Hi, Pastor Dale here with some personal reflections on God's little blessings.

Usually I don’t pay much attention to birthdays, but this one was really fun with all the birthday cards, text messages, facebook posts, phone calls, and emails. Messaging today is kind of like surround sound. It comes from everywhere and sounds rich and full and oh so sweet. Thanks to everyone for “making my day.”

My classmate and good friend Denny Butler died after a heroic battle with cancer. I am so grateful to have known and enjoyed him, and to have re-connected with him this past year.
My new friend, Kelly Lee James, from last year’s Cowboy Church, lost everything but his life in the Joplin tornado. His faith is guiding him through his devastating losses and inspiring others. The shining faith of both of these men of God is a living testament to Jesus. Is there anything better than good Christian friends?

I love it that the youth and the youth leaders from the church are responding to the needs of tornado victims taking supplies to Joplin.
I love it that the Garden Grove Post of the American Legion conducts the essay contest for the 5th graders on “What the American Flag Means to Me,” and then leads the outdoor service, teaching the students how to honorably retire worn and tattered flags.
I love it that Mormon Trail Seniors attend Baccalaureate. This year was amazing – the Senior Class, the teachers, the program, and all the pastors together.

I was so happy to attend the first of our grandchildren’s graduations – Chelcee from Park Hill South in Kansas City area. So proud of you. LOL!

First, to Oklahoma City for a family wedding Linda was officiating for Derrik and Malorie. Friendly and Fine. Driving through the Flint Hills of Kansas is really restful to me. I call it my “prairie fix.”
Second, a relaxing, local, 4-day Memorial Day weekend, which included a little mowing, a little cleaning, a lot of relaxing, going to a movie, and the Ft. Des Moines Memorial Day program. Sweet month, May.

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's May

Wow, it’s May already, with final exams and graduations, Mothers’ Day, planting and gardening, Memorial Day, 4H and more. Time sure marches on.

But before we move into summer I’d like to lift up a huge congregational Shout of Praise & Thanksgiving to God for all the Heavenly Blessings we enjoyed in April. Surely the Presence of the Lord was in this place.

I want to celebrate a full and wonderful year of TUF Team after-school programs. Thank you Lord, for these great youngsters and our whole team of leaders. Our final gathering for the year was a dinner the youth prepared for their families. 59 people were served. A happy night and a great year! 6 of the youth will be attending camp this summer with the help of the Cans for Camp. Thanks, too, to all of you who bring your cans to the church for us to recycle for cash.

*On April 9 the Upper Midwest Region of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, re-organized their regional governing by-laws, a vast and exciting change that promises stronger lay leadership in Regional ministries and administration. The Region also elected the interim director, Bill Spangler-Dunning, as director.

With Easter coming so late this year, the Holy season of Lent filled most of the month. We kept that season by having a Sunday night Study Series at the LeRoy church. For four weeks we studied, with lively debate, “A Life Worth Living” by Bruce Wilkinson. We ended the series with a mission report from Linda O’Connell and friends from the Presbyterian Church in Indianola who together had traveled to El Salvador to visit a *mission site with which they have connection, called “Our Sister Parish.”

The Holy Week communion services were soooooo… beautiful and meaningful, impressing us with the cost of salvation mercifully paid by Jesus on the Cross, and the endlessness of God’s great love. Then, with the sun shining and spring hope in the air, Easter arrived. What a perfect day to receive New Members in both churches and celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism by immersion at Humeston.

April’s best. The parish is celebrating a huge achievement. Challenged to read 400 chapters in the Bible each month from Oct 2010 to April 2011 (2800 chapters in all) we exceeded the challenge 3 fold. By April 30 we completed reading a total of 8821 chapters (or an average 1261 per month). How awesome is that!!!!!!

Other April events included Presbyterian Women’s Fellowship Dinner, United Methodist Women mission disbursements, scrolling announcements being projected in church, and the parish attending an Iowa Barnstormers game at Wells Fargo Arena.