From the Pastor´s Desk, June 2017

The following post is taken from the Canton Chronicle, Vol 2017 #4. 

Edward Bernays may not be a familiar name. Yet his philosophy permeates our lives, our culture. In this way we know him.

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DE Ponderings, May 2017

The following article is taken from the IL/WI District Church of the Brethren newsletter  ¨The Reflector¨ May 2017, Volume 14, Issue 4.  If you´d like to subscribe to the Reflector, please leave a message in our contact box and we will have one sent directly to your inbox. 

Late night show host Jimmy Kimmel opened his program Monday May 1, with an emotional monologue about the birth of his son which occurred just a few days before. Shortly after the birth, a nurse noticed that the baby’s color was purple (Kimmel´s words). A doctor was summoned and upon further testing it was discovered the baby had been born with a heart defect. Efforts began immediately to call in a specialist who within hours performed surgery that saved the little boy´s life as well as helping him avoid complications later on in life. Kimmel expressed thanks to all those instrumental in providing such great care for his newborn son. He also spoke with emotion about other children in the Children’s Hospital where his son’s surgery was performed.  He noted that his son and these other children had the opportunity for a future because of medical knowledge and care, and also because of medical insurance. He wondered what it would be like for children in need of such significant medical treatment without the availability of insurance. It was a plea for the insurance benefits available to all to continue. It was a plea for justice, for life, a voice for the most vulnerable–children and those unable to afford high-cost medical treatment.

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From the Pastor’s Desk, May 2017

Taken from the The Canton Chronicle 2017, Vol. #3.

I recall visiting the Senate chamber in the Illinois State Capitol and being quite amazed. I had expected when the session opened that the senators would be in their seats being quite attentive to the business-at-hand. What I witnessed was a chamber with many empty seats, senators and staff frantically moving around, and several mini conversations happening here and there while business was being conducted. I may be exaggerating to a degree but not much.

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Poverty Forum Summary Report Part 1 of 5

Throughout the week, we will post portions of our summary report from the forum on poverty. This first post highlights remarks made by our panelists speaking to the factors that contribute towards poverty in Fulton County.

Introductory Remarks

Pastor Kevin Kessler – Moderator

  1. ¨Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.¨ -Nelson Mandela
  2. The US Census Bureau indicates that over a 3 year period, 1/3rd of all US residents slip below the poverty line at least once for 2 months or more.
  3. We are all affected by poverty in some way and it is in the interest of all that we come together to work out solutions for eliminating poverty for the wellbeing of everyone

Defining the Problem

Question 1 – What are the major factors contributing to poverty in Fulton County?

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From the Pastor’s Desk, March 2017

Taken from the The Canton Chronicle 2017, Vol. #2

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. 3When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. 4 Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,[a] stand up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. –Acts 3:1-10 (NRSV)

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DE Ponderings, February 2017

Taken from the February 2017 edition of the IL/WI Reflector

I am concerned with the level of priority our national leaders are giving to protecting our country. Know that I value safety but the present protectionist ethos seems to give substantial importance to retaining what we have come to believe is rightfully ours. In my humble view, this attitude portrays a sense of selfishness, and, subsequently, leads to greater division within the global human community. Recent protests around the globe in response to certain political maneuvers seem to support my hypothesis. I’ll readily admit that I’m basing my conclusions on observations rather than fully researched and scientifically calculated information. Nevertheless, my concern remains.

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From the Pastor’s Desk, January 2017

Taken from the CCOB Canton Chronicler, Vol. 2017 #1

Another section of this newsletter will contain information about the Dignity emphasis in which we are engaged, including objectives from the 5 passion groups. So, I’ll refrain from touching on those details in this space. However, I will express my delight and excitement about the momentum being gained through our ongoing conversations and work.

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