Sunday, August 31, 2008

Evangelism and Sorority Recruitment

I've recently become an advisor for the local chapter of my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. The UK Chapter had a week long of recruitment and welcomed 69 new girls into what I would say was one of the best decisions I made while I was in college. I wasn't a HUGE part of helping them with recruitment, but just by being on the advisory board I was kept informed, and sort of "went through" the recruitment process with them.

However, I also went through both sides of the recruitment process myself. Granted it was 4 and 8 years ago, the last time that I did that, but I sitll have vivid memories of the huge undertaking it is for sorority recruitment.

This morning I preached at Woodland, and me and my partner-in-crime -Marsha - we helped lead the church while our interim minister is taking some leave for some family emergencies. Apart from the little "pat on the back" that I want to give the two of us (I know that's a bit selfish) I honestly think we did a good job. It's really hard for a church to go through so much change, and so its important that we make sure our members are experiencing genuine worship lead by individuals who genuinely care about their well-being and each person's individual relationship with God. And not that we were putting on an act, but I think we demonstrated that, people saw that this morning and people are responding to such transitory leadership, and still feeling led and cared for (which is ideal!). At any rate - following worship, Marsha and I spoke together with an individual who had visited the church a few times, and was interested in learning more about Disciples and our congregation.

As we sat there and talked with this individual, I just couldn't help but think about sorority recruitment and how much it felt so similar. Marsha and I sat that and tried to answer this individual's questions, and the two of us attempted to answer the questions as genuinely as possible, from our point of view and from our experience with the church. We also tried to express the immense love and connection we have with this church and its members. And honestly, at times it felt as if we were reverting back into sorority recruitment. Sorority recruitment has such a terrible spin on it - as does fraternity recruitment - Greek Life in general for that matter, but I have to admit, when doing sorority recruitment, from the side as a current member recruiting new members, it is really just a matter of sharing your genuine story, and sharing your experience with that group of women. I know its become so much more, and so much less at the same time, but in the end, isn't that all it is? Expressing to another individual how much you have enjoyed your experience with that particular organization (church or sorority) and why you think they as an individual would enjoy it as well?

I just hate the pressure that goes along with it. I hate the pressure I have as a minister to "recruit" while at the same time not being "pushy" to push people into the church when they aren't/weren't ready. The pressure that we have to be genuine in order to share our genuine experiences with the church, while at the same time not coming across as superficial. I also hate that so many people have felt pushed out or alienated by the church. I want to shout it from the rooftops that church can be this amazing place - it CAN be a loving place where we all share in our struggles, our joys, our questions, our answers, our loves, our trials, all of it - we all share in it together and strive to live with one another and in relationship with God. Church CAN be a place where a community comes together that we might all figure out this thing called "faith" together, that we all might be humble and genuine, we all might be able to be who we are without ridicule, while still helping one another down the right path. It CAN be - but it hasn't been - and I'm having a hard time "marketing" when we have such a bad history...

But not today... today we shared our story.... our good experiences... and we shared God's presence... and we welcomed someone in...

Monday, August 18, 2008


Although I disagree with this person's phrasing that indicates only a man can change his life by trusting he is loved by God, or that a man can only marry a man..... BUT other than those minor things - this SERIOUSLY sums up my theology. Imagine what the world would be like if we truly trusted in God, that God loves us, that God is ALWAYS with us and that God will never leave us?

"Imagine how much a man's life would be changed if he trusted that he was loved by God? He could interact with the poor and not show partiality, he could love his wife easily and not expect her to redeem him, he would be slow to anger because redemption was no longer at stake, he could be wise and giving with his money because money no longer represented points, he could give up on formulaic religion, knowing that checking stuff off a spiritual to-do list was a worthless pursuit, he would have confidence and the ability to laugh at himself, and he could love people without expecting anything in return. It would be quite beautiful, really." - Donald Miller

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Find a penny...

Today I went and got a pedicure with a friend... and then we walked to lunch... and on my way back to my car I passed by a penny. It was heads up. I thought about picking it up, "find a penny, pick it up..." but we were well past the penny by the time I thought of it - and I thought to myself that I would leave that penny for someone else who might rely on luck anyway.

A few years ago, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) boycotted Yum Brands - mainly Taco Bell, because of it's refusal to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) who harvested the majority of the tomatoes used in their restaurants. The workers demanded a raise to improve their working conditions and so that they and their families could live off a fair wage.

Now the CIW has been working with Burger King - and have successfully negotiated a "raise" for the tomatoes that are sold to Burger King restaurants.

"BKC has agreed to pay an additional net penny per pound for Florida tomatoes to increase wages for the Florida farm workers who harvest tomatoes. " (Click on the Link for the full news story).

Just surprising and a sombering thing to think about when we all complain about a terrible economy. But while I sit here and post a blog on the computer I own and the more than comfortable apartment I live in - I can't imagine negotiating my raise for one penny...