Outreach Center Network News Letter
In this issue:
The messenger is the Message - A Devotion
This MonthÕs Focus
Notes from Centers
Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
Each article will begin with ###. You may move to the next article by searching for this.
### The messenger is the message
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith..."
Did you realize that we are not saved simply to be a channel for His message. We are saved to actually be sons and daughters who are "one with Him" (John 17:21). God does not want us to become "spiritual mediums" but a "spiritual message." His character is to become our character. We are not just to be a messenger, God's desire is that the message must become an actual part of ourselves! This is what incarnation is all about!
When Jesus came to earth, He came bringing more than simply a message from God. He WAS the message! His words were spirit, His words were life (John 6:63), not just because of what He said but because of who He was. The same was true of the disciples who followed Jesus. Pentecost changed them completely! Pentecost did not teach the disciples simply a collection of new ideas. Pentecost did much, much more for them. It made them the incarnation of what they were called to become! Just as the Father had sent Jesus, so Jesus was sending them (John 20:21).
These disciples of Jesus no longer simply carried a message. Instead, they were changed messengers! The people who saw their courage and their plainness had only one explanation: Ōthese men had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13).
This is how the church grew in the first century. The messenger was the message.
The Mission of an outreach center understands this. We not only speak a message, we first show that the messenger cares. The message is not one of fear as with Halloween or an angry God. No our message is God is with us. He understands pain and hurt. Jesus experienced the cross. He knows our suffering and suffered to forgive us. He is with us now and promises a home with him in Heaven.
This is what now gives our lives meaning and purpose. We are the messenger sent by Jesus with his message. As you reach out to others, know God is with you.
### This MonthÕs Focus
Outreach center leaders; Duties and responsibilities
I am guessing that most of you who are reading this article are beyond these suggestions and guidelines. Even so, it is good to review.
In setting up an outreach center, the team approach is preferred. A team works so very well for many reasons. It is an example given us in the Bible. Jesus sent out the disciples two by two. Mark 6:7 on a practical level when there is a team many people, many hands, many ideas help the project happen.
A team does have a leader. There are three leaders that are essential at an outreach center.
First there needs to be a pastor. There will arise issues and concerns that will require his expertise, skill and knowledge.
Second an outreach center needs a blind leader. This is important for many reasons. A blind leader shows and demonstrates that the outreach center for the blind is for blind people. In fact it is strongly recommended that the number of sighted volunteers be managed so that there always be present more blind people than sighted. A count of three blind people to one sighted volunteer tends to be a good ratio. The blind leader also will be aware of concerns, issues needs and location of people who are blind.
In addition to the blind leader he or she will have a team which helps in phone contacts; follow up; life skills; games and activities; birthday and other holiday events; and music.
Third a center needs a sighted leader or coordinator. Here again it is encourage to have a team approach. The sighted coordinator need not and should not do all the work. He or she coordinates the volunteers. This prevents over work, burn out and dependence on one person.
Certainly as a center gets started the sighted coordinator may have more work than later. Two weeks prior to a gathering, an hour, maybe two, will be spent calling and confirming who is doing what. In turn, the people contacted will also make contacts to confirm plans. The week of a gathering again, an hour is spent on a few details. Lastly, the day of the gathering the sighted coordinator spends about four hours with the gathering.
Additional teams that may be present among sighted volunteers include groups covering: transportation; food; phone calls; and on the day of a gathering, setup and clean up.
### Notes from Centers
The Kansas City Missouri center open in January of 2008. It did so at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, on the north side of the city. After four years the center moved to Calvary Lutheran Church, on the south side of the city. Part of the reason for the move is to be in the neighborhood of the workshop which employs many people who are blind. Like most centers it meets monthly. While at the gathering there is a meal. Concerns and/or needs are learned and efforts are made to assist. There are two active blind leaders who work with the team of volunteers from the congregation.
### Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
I hope this bit of humor will help ease some political frustration
BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!
JOHN MC CAIN: My friends that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.
HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.
GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?
NANCY PELOSI: Under this administration there has been an alarming number of chickens displaced and I intend to stop it. We must pass a chicken crossing bill before all the chickens become displaced and this IS a crisis!
COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.
BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of crossing?
AL GORE: I invented the chicken.
JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.
AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens!
DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.
OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been! allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmers Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.
DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.
GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.
ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.
BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2016, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2016. This new platform is much more stable and will never crash.
ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?
### Final Thoughts
In upcoming issues we can and will look at many of the same topics as well as others. If you have questions, thoughts or suggestions, please post them on the blind ministry email list.
Rev. Dave Andrus
Not Alone Internet Ministry (NAIM)