Touché May 27, 2016
Posted on May 27, 2016 by under Touché,

You’ve Got to Get Out More Often!

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”  (Jeremiah 29:7)

Last night I prayed at the installation for the Interact club at John Jay High School.  It is the largest club at John Jay with over three hundred kids on the rolls and seventy who are active members in good standing.  Their primary purpose is to do good and live into service above self (the motto of Rotary- the sponsoring agency).  I was surprised to find out that Shaun Nuzzo, a son of our congregation, was being installed as the president.

Earlier in the day I had prayed with farm workers that were walking to Albany to seek their welfare as they work the land of their exile.  I was chaplain for part of the journey.  I spoke with farm workers from Mexico and El Salvador who put food on our tables.  They are people in tough situations that do a lot of good.

Last Friday I prayed at the dedication of the signal tower at the Hopewell Depot.  Volunteers there have done a lot of good as they have raised funds and donated labor to make the depot a place of community and blessing for those who travel the rail trail.  Written on top of the depot in the eaves are the words: “Laus Deo”; the same words as on the Washington monument. The organizer of the project stated that it was a work of faith to raise the depot from ruins to blessing.

Two recent Sundays I prayed at two Eagle Court ceremonies for Matt Goldsmith and Matt Thompson.  I heard the commitment and dedication of these scouts to do good in the community.  There are a lot of young men committed to this vision.

Two Sundays ago I prayed for our new Stephen Ministers and I spoke of the church with Reggie McNeal’s metaphor that the church should be seen as an airport that is sending people into the world in mission.  I said often people see the church as a cruise ship where people are protected from the world, maybe stop in at a port for a visit, but basically want to sail safely away from any worries or troubles.  I likened the job of a pastor in that metaphor with a captain who makes sure there is enough shrimp on the buffet and everybody is happy.

These past two weeks this captain has gotten off the ship and it has reminded me that there is a lot of good that God is doing in the community. The goal of our 167 living is to join in the good that God is already doing in the world.  I was happy to have my eyes open and challenged for our church to continue to seek the welfare of the city in which we live, for it is in its welfare we will find our welfare.

I have to get out more,