Monthly archives: July, 2018

“Call To Mission” – Hunter Farrell

Rev. Dr. B. Hunter Farrell is Director of the World Mission Initiative at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA.

Hunter Farrell Hired as World Mission Initiative Director

Prior to coming to Pittsburgh Seminary, Farrell served as director of World Mission for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). In his years there he managed a 180-member staff in 52 countries while overseeing the areas of strategic direction and partnerships, funds development, operations, and communications.

This is a paraphrased excerpt from A Presbyterian Outlook Interview by Leslie Scanlon with Hunter Farrell as an introduction to 10 minutes of an audio interview below where Hunter shares about his call to mission.  He tells of working with various poor people outside of the U.S.  He brings home the importance of kinship and keeping families together.

Leslie Scanlon: What are some of the challenges in working with people in other countries?

Hunter Farrell: There are two primary barriers, two massive barriers, to our engaging effectively with people living in other countries. The first is, they are different. They don’t think like us, they have different experiences, they speak a different language, they come from different cultural traditions. And we consistently as people from the U.S. in our own ethnocentric ways, we consistently underestimate the power of cultural difference.

“The second barrier is we’re convinced that our way is the right way. In social sciences, they talk about an evolutionary anthropology. You assume that everybody’s on the same road. Some day they’ll get to where we are. There’s one road toward human development. And increasingly, we’re aware that that’s simply not the case. People can live in God’s shalom in lots of different ways, and it doesn’t have to be in the way that our country has built itself.”

Click on the audio button … “Call To Mission” …

Full Outlook article by clicking on the link below …

https://pres-outlook.org/2016/09/30-years-of-world-mission-an-interview-with-hunter-farrell/

The staff at World Mission Initiative … https://www.pts.edu/wmi-staff

We pray for the mission outreach and training done by World Mission Initiative.

 


No Vision Won’t Stop Me “Facing Challenges”

For two young men in Mars, PA, the lack of sight by the one, will not stop him from pulling his weight, in a new joint business venture that he has with his good friend.

Max Lamm and Mitchell McMarlin are best friends in business together detailing cars. They work together helping one another.

Watch their story as they share it in their own words … click on the link below …
http://www.wtae.com/…/driving-through-all-challeng…/2254234

We thank WTAE-TV for allowing us to share this story of inspiration.

Are you visually impaired in faith and life?  Some of us who can see the world around us actually are blind to what God is up too.  Then there are those special visually impaired people who can actually help us sighted people to get a glimpse into what God is really up too.

 

Listen to Bill on Passages tell about his experience in having Second Sight.  Click on the audio story below …

Helen has an interesting time being visually impaired and preparing a meal on her own.  She has a good sense of humor.  She even goes bowling when she gets a chance.  Click on the audio stories below to hear as she tells in her own words what it is like to be blind.

Going Bowling …

Here is an audio story from Bill, it is about a Maundy Thursday during Holy Week that the pastor asked someone to help with the close of the worship service, this made it very special for Bill and others.  Click on the audio button below …

Thanks be to God for all people both sighted and non-sighted in sharing together in this wonderful world!

 


Life Being Ripped Apart

Sexual abuse is literally ripping lives apart!

What Dr. Larry Nassar did over the years to young female athletes is appalling and unimaginable by all human standards.

Yet sexual abuse is all to frequent in many different situations throughout our country and the world.

Here are some stories that will help you gain some insight to what young people in real life situations experience, then needing to find a way to cope, with the pain of mistrust the rest of their lives.

First, Kate has been sexually abused both by her grandfather and dad. She gets help and is fighting the situation with everything she has got. Yet family members from her dad’s side still can’t believe what has happened. They are placing the blame on her mother and her.  Listen to Kate’s story on Passages clicking on the audio button below …

Jay tells how a neighbor molested him. Listen to his story on Passages.

We pray for all those who have experienced sexual abuse and are recovering! May God’s love heal you and be with you always.


Won’t You Be My Neighbor – Fred Rogers

Have you seen the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor yet?

Fred Rogers Documentary Review
By Rev. Dr. Darrell Knopp

2018 is an important year for looking again to the life and times of Fred Rogers. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the very first Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood television show on WQED-TV in Pittsburgh.

The first ever full length biography of Mr. Rogers life, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King, will be published and on bookstore shelves in early September.  In the fall of 2019 a feature film, You Are My Friend starring Hollywood heavyweight Tom Hanks (as Mr. Rogers) will debut from Sony Pictures.

Each of these entrees will have to climb a large mountain to be favorably compared to the recent standard set by award-winning storyteller, Morgan Neville, Neville’s recent documentary of Fred Rogers life, is a near perfect portrayal of who Fred Rogers was/is and in 95 cinematic minutes, Neville speaks volumes with Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

This stellar production is a deeply penetrating look into the heart and soul of this irreplaceable giant. Neville reaches out to (and into) the heart of a man who in turn reached into the lives of some estimated 5 to 10 million children with his powerful message of love.

Using ten different voices to address his audience with ten different puppets on a simple stage, made up as simple TV sets, Mr. Rogers was able to bring to life many important biblical concepts, such as “I like you just the way you are,” “love your neighbor,” “love yourself,” and perhaps most important, “always keep your heart open.”

Despite childhood illnesses which challenge a lonely little boy to use his imagination, he discovered creative ways to spend extended hours alone in bed. Forced to find ways to pass long days and nights, Neville shows us a person who, when his time had come, had learned to use the challenges of adversity to present to the whole world important Christ-like concepts without use of a pulpit.

Mary Rawson, a cast member (Cousin Mary) of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, had this to say about Neville’s work.

“It is wonderful the attention that the 50th Anniversary of the first Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood program is bringing to Fred Rogers work; that, and the excellent documentary by Morgan Neville , Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Without ever saying so to his audience, Neville allows us to see Mr. Rogers’ accomplishments as a direct reflection of who Fred was as a person and a believer.

To Neville’s credit, he allows Fred to tell the story, not Morgan Neville. This is a rare accomplishment in a documentary. Neville allows Rogers to share regarding his struggles as an ordained Presbyterian minister, feeling led by God to work in front of a television camera, working with and for the most vulnerable members of society, children, as his call to ministry.

So it is that Fred tells the story, by means of his faith, compassion, gentleness, openness, creativity, vulnerability and most of all, his Christ-like humility. Yet these words are seldom heard in this film to describe who Fred is.

Neville never gets in the way of the audience – he permits the subject of his work to tell the story.

n Pittsburgh, PA, there is a sign on the lawn in front of a house on Highland Avenue. The sign reads:

“No matter who you are, or where you’re from, you are my neighbor.”

Reading this sign, one cannot help but think of Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Two thousand plus years ago Jesus of Nazareth told the story of the Good Samaritan to challenge a hardened young man to keep his heart open to whoever his neighbor might be. Perhaps nobody since has done more to challenge all of us, especially the children, to do the same that Mister Rogers’ has done.

Allow us to again quote Ms. Rawson as to who she believed Fred Rogers to be:

“Fred was an amazing person who did such good work in this world, and I’m very happy that his message of total kindness and respect for others continues to reverberate. He never let the present pass without being fully engaged.”

“Fully engaged” is a wonderful description of audience response to the film. Neville neither exalts Fred for his goodness nor crucifies him for his faults. He simply tells the story of who Fred Rogers was and what Fred did. He allows the truth to tell the story, and the story is wonderful.

If you see this film, be prepared to laugh and to cry. Your inner child may surface, for good or ill. Mr. Rogers was a strong proponent that children should be permitted to express/show their feelings. Give yourself permission to do the same.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is a worthy representation of who Fred Rogers was and continues to be. That’s high praise for this work. See the film. You will be blessed!

(Note: The Rev. Dr. Darrell Knopp is a retired Presbyterian minister who served on the Presbyterian Media Mission Board of Directors and now is a board member Emeritus. He served churches in Lake Erie, Kiskiminetas, and Pittsburgh Presbyteries. He is an avid movie goer/reviewer and Pittsburgh Pirate fan.)

Watch movie trailer by clicking on link below ….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhwktRDG_aQ

Fred’s widow Joanne talks about the documentary click on the link below ….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKJaOItfRbo

Release dateJune 8, 2018 (USA)
Box office12.7 million USD

Kicking Heroin Addiction

“Many experts have documented that patients who started legal, prescribed, regular opioid painkillers and became addicted, then switched to heroin when their doctors cut them off or they could no longer afford the pills. Some addicts originally were workers injured on the job, victims of auto accidents, or even young athletes with sports injuries who started taking opioid-based pain medication like Vicodin or OxyContin for a legitimate pain condition and end up addicted.” (from the book “Our 50-State Border Crisis”)

Rico got caught-up as a teen with being a heroin addict on the streets of New York.

Have you ever tried to kick an addiction? Rico shares about his addiction on Passages.

We go inside the world of the heroin addict with Rico. Listen to him talk about fading into despair.

Rico struggles with his withdraw from heroin. Support and care by people help to bring him out of being high.

It is an emotional war with being addicted to heroin. “I couldn’t open up to admit to my addiction.”

Hope is found in the early part of Rico’s treatment. Again, he tries to kick the heroin habit.

It takes special support to have healing begin! Rico goes onto beat the heroin addiction and is now a professor at a United Methodist seminary.

 

Preventing Drug Abuse: The Best Strategy

Why is adolescence a critical time for preventing drug addiction? As noted previously, early use of drugs increases a person’s chances of developing addiction. Remember, drugs change brains-and this can lead to addiction and other serious problems. So, preventing early use of drugs or alcohol may go a long way in reducing these risks.

We keep in our thoughts and prayers all those folks in the process of recovery and healing in their lives!

 


A Special Time In Seattle!

This week Special Olympic Games will be held in Seattle!

What a great opportunity for fun competition and building of relationships as we affirm those around us that face some of the most difficult physical challenges that a human being can deal with in a lifetime.

Here is a link to the Special Olympics website for the all the details and some super photos.

https://www.specialolympicsusagames.org/

Now from Survivors and Passages stories of hope and inspiration are stories from some special Olympic athletes and a motivational story from Special Olympics.

Listen to Joann tell of her Special Olympics experience …

Tony is an amazing wheelchair athlete and he knows that practice only makes him better …

Setting the context for Special Olympics by life coach Carl Mays …

We pray for a great week for all the Special Olympic participants and their families in Seattle.