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Thursday, 23 April 2009
Who are the children of God?
Topic: Life In The Kingdom
We cannot achieve our inherent dignity—our divine sonship and our divine daughterhood. All we can do is awaken to it and start drawing upon it, appreciating it, reveling in it. We know we live in an inherent dignity, a dignity that no one has given to us and no one can take from us. -Fr Richard Rohr


Posted by Pastor Kork at 9:16 AM EDT
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Friday, 6 March 2009
Tent fire destroys homeless couple?s shelter
Topic: Life In The Kingdom
Our friends, Bernie & Rhonda, had a fire. They are safe and in a room now. This article discusses our shelter, the struggle to “call in” our tent city friends, and our struggle with North Coventry Township’s bigotry toward those with less. Have a read, and don’t forget to comment…
KM

POTTSTOWN: Officials said two people who were living in a makeshift tent in the woods behind a Verizon building on Robinson Street lost all of their belongings Wednesday in a fire. For more of this story, click on or type the URL below:

http://pottsmerc.com/articles/2009/03/06/news/doc49b11ddba8d75818895654.txt


Posted by Pastor Kork at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 9 March 2009 8:30 AM EDT
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Thursday, 20 November 2008
A Prayer
Topic: Life In The Kingdom

We have a friend who loves us the way that she can.  I feel honored when she is free enough to confide the most horrific episodes of her life to me.

  

She lived in a box in New York City for more years than she can remember, with her husband. Her life, as early as she could remember, was filled with the most disturbing kind of abuses you ever heard.  I am nauseated and repulsed by the extreme pain she was forced to endure. This stuff makes people react very differently, to every circumstance, than what you or I would consider normal; a type of primitive self preservation. Her moods swing from elation to abject fear in one instance.  Her impulses are more in control than her conscience. A word can conjure up the worst memories that become real to her within.  She is more like a wild animal than civilized; more like a child than an adult.

  

Her church experience has been people becoming exhausted in helping her, with comments like, “she just keeps making bad decisions,” and “why can’t she just act right?” She has 48 years of trying to survive in the most primitive ways.  She can’t.

  

Another good friend rescued her. She took her into her home, managed an arsenal of drugs that would boggle the mind and keeps her alive, navigated doctor appointments, HIV treatments, and put up with the most difficult rejections of God’s mercy and impulses that I’ve ever seen; and working tirelessly as Christ’s representative in an 83 year old container.

  

We’ve needed to help to modify things for them, but we must not allow either of them to feel as though their great gains amount to loss.  We must work to keep our dear friends connected to each other and us.  We trust God that the strides that they made together, will move her ever closer to Christ’s healing.

  How much love will help her?  How much inconvenience will we need to endure to comfort her?  How much love will be needed to assure her of Christ’s love? Isn’t this who HE is?  Isn’t this who we must become?


Posted by Pastor Kork at 12:53 PM EST
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Kork Moyer's --- Believe It or NOT
Topic: Life In The Kingdom

I just visited juvenile court again this month.  I needed to put a friend (one of our single mothers), at ease while we drove to an uncomfortable appointment.

  

This is a true story that I told her, and unfortunately, it is normal for us. (Please don’t read this if you are faint of heart or prudish.)

  I told her;

The last time I was at Juvenile Court I thought that I was going to jail myself.

  

I was bringing another person to her son’s hearing.  I was just concerned for her and trying to comfort her, thinking and acting all spiritual, and zealously wanting to know the right “God words” for every question.  Such a giant for God...

  

We walked through the Court door (I’m not sure how my mind works, or what woke me up to a horrible fact), and must have visibly turned white as the blood drained from my head in horror.

  

You see, we held a church service at the Mental Health Association’s Peer Resource Center here in town.  On any given evening, we would have 2 to 20 people.  Often, Big John and I would sit there and twiddle our thumbs out of boredom.  We’d create games like counting down to when certain people would explode certain expletives while playing pool in the other room, and what each individual’s expletive of choice was; we’d guess at where convoluted discussions would go, that we would eves drop on... Stuff like that. It is those boring times, that rest you, for when the circus comes to town—if you know what I mean.

  

Folks began to come in that Thursday, and we knew it was time to get serious. It was a decent size group. We solved the mysteries of life and enjoyed spirited conversation, but Randy was wide-eyed and quiet—scary quiet!  I was reading, with my nose buried in my bible (unaware of the rest of the world), when a really big hand slams down on my bible in front of me, shocking me out of holy space.  It was Randy, and he screamed, “take this *%#@^&-ing thing away from me, It’s killing me!!”

  

Under his hand was his crack pipe.

  

We hugged and prayed.  The whole room joined us and we made some big promises to each other.  Incidentally, Randy’s openness and vulnerability led others to share terrible stuff too.  It was Christ. I told Randy that I’d dispose of the contraband later that night. The meeting ended, and I went home.

  

I used to be the house parent for a very difficult person. He is mentally retarded, with a narcissistic personality disorder (totally serious), and unbelievably addicted to rough gay porn.  I made a deal with him that I didn’t want to see it, as his landlord didn’t either, nor the other folks from his agency, nor the plumber, nor... you get the picture.  He had a huge amount, and also had this habit of leaving it out in the open, and the deal was what ever was left out when I showed up, I would confiscate and toss in the trash.  Earlier that day, that was the case.  Playing cards.  Right there for everyone and God to see.  I flipped them into my bag.

  

Here we are... Friday morning...  walking up to the Juvenile Court door...  Where I know there are metal detectors, and BAG SERCHES!!  You guessed it...  I slid the pipe into my man-bag with the porn cards!  I can only tell you that I broke into a sweat that made my shoes slosh, and I could see no way out as my blood pressure dropped!

  

Realizing my slight miscalculation, I pulled the officer aside.

  

 “Sir,” I said, “Do you believe in God?”

  

“Would you believe that I am a pastor?” 

  

His sincere look was worrying.  “Yes,” he said. 

  

“I’ve got a story for you.”

  

I can only believe that he hadn’t laughed in years and was making up for lost time. 

   (A note to all in ministry, always, always, always carry your Pastoral Credentials with you!!)  

I think my friend forgot her troubles temporarily, and I am the poster child for “Don’t let this happen to you!”


Posted by Pastor Kork at 12:52 PM EST
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Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Holiday Charity for the Well-Off
Topic: Life In The Kingdom

 

So often, we remove ourselves from people who might be a little different than us, even ignoring people who desperately need us all year long.  Then, around the holidays, we decide to engage those very same people, calling it humanitarianism, or charity, leaving us with warm holiday feelings.  I truly do love who we become each Christmas season.

But consider, how those who are on the receiving end of our charity, feel.  They don't regard themselves as anything special.  In fact it can be down-right embarrassing for them as we do "ministry" at them. Most of them only want to be equal.  There can be a real poverty of a different kind among those who are above the poverty line--those "Well-Off."

Our community wants to bless them with Christ's charity this holiday season, to "minister" to them with God's mercy, and comfort.

Please join us, the Homeless Community, those with less, & Still Waters Church in blessing those who are Comfortable this Christmas.

December 13 & 20, at 5:30 pm

Peace on earth,

Kork


Posted by Pastor Kork at 8:49 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 12 November 2008 9:10 PM EST
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Friday, 31 October 2008
More Thoughts from Fr. Richard Rohr
Topic: Life In The Kingdom

Jesus talks frequently about metanoia: turning around, or changing your mind.

I remember having problems with that myself. I thought, "What am I supposed to turn around?" I'm baptized, I'm confirmed, I've gone to the Eucharist, and I'm even ordained! How foolish. That's precisely the blindness Jesus is talking about.

People the most obedient to commandment and church formulas can very often be the hardest to convert. They've taken the symbol for the substance. They've taken the ritual for the reality. They've taken the means for the end and become inoculated from experience of the real thing.

Fr. Richard Rohr


Posted by Pastor Kork at 12:22 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Thoughts from Fr Richard Rohr
Topic: Life In The Kingdom

Those at the edge, ironically, always hold the secret for the conversion of every age and culture. They always hold the projected and denied parts of our soul.  Only as the People of God receive the stranger and the leper, those who don't play our game, do we discover not only the hidden and hated parts of our own souls, but the Lord Jesus himself.  In letting go, we make room for the Other. The Church is always converted when the outcasts are reinvited into the temple.

God speaks the true word of power, but we cannot believe it. We trust in our power, which we think will change the world, but what has it done?

Conservatives tend to mistrust powerlessness, while liberals tend to mistrust power. Jesus puts them both together in an utterly new way that satisfies neither group.  We have never had the courage to take the word of the Lord seriously. We are afraid of both gospel power and gospel powerlessness. We've experienced just enough Christianity, someone once said, to forever inoculate ourselves from wanting the real thing.

I am convinced that most of the saints were religious dropouts from societies that were going nowhere. Faith called them to drop out and believe in something else.  Jesus' announcement of the reign of God was telling us that culture as we've created it is on a track toward self-destruction and emptiness.  All we have to give up is the utterly false understanding that we have of ourselves from civil society. For some reason that liberation seems to be the most difficult thing in the world!

It's important to realize that Jesus' message was being given, at the same time, to those on the top of society and to those on the bottom.  To those on the top, he is always saying, "Come down. Give up your power, your righteousness, and your explanations. Jump off the tower." To those on the bottom-all the nobodies-he's always saying, "Come up! You've got faith. Go show yourself to the priests. You've got the power."

There's a gospel to the oppressors and a gospel to the oppressed, reversing both of their self-evaluations.

Shame and honor were, in fact, moral values in the culture Jesus lived in. In other words, retaliation was the rule of Jewish culture.  For Jesus to walk into the midst of that and to say, "Do not retaliate" is to subvert the whole honor/shame system. People who heard this would wonder, "How do I find my self-image, my identity?"

And all Jesus does is to point radically to God. Who you are in God is who you are. In that system there are no ups and downs, no dependence upon families and villages for self-esteem, upon wealth or good societal standing.

Jesus puts identity on a solid foundation: life in God and not in passing definitions of honor and shame.

Excerpts from Fr. Richard Rohr Spiral of Violence, Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, and  Sermon on the Mount


Posted by Pastor Kork at 8:46 AM EDT
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Thursday, 20 March 2008
A "New Command"
Topic: Life In The Kingdom
 

As we observe Holy Week, my thoughts are turned toward the ceremonies of commemoration that we engage this week.  From Good Friday through Easter, we will have observed home church services, interdenominational services, the church calendar, fasting, and so on...

 

Please, at this holy time of remembrance, let us consider that the institutions of rights not overshadow what these services mean.

 

Feasting, Communion, and Foot Washing Services are not an end in themselves, but a deliberate act of forcing us to reconsider the pattern of life that Jesus gives.  These reenactments of His "new commands" are to heighten our awareness of how life in the kingdom is to look.  If we simply "observe" these ordinances without walking the reality of them daily we miss the point.

 

Tonight, we will overlay the Stations of the Cross with Maundy Thursday into one Service, but our lives, each day, will reflect our love for God by loving people in the ways that He has "ordained."   

 

At the cross, everyone is equal.  If it was important to Jesus to reconcile us through terrible sacrifice, should not His followers endeavor to commune, eat with, and wash those who are suffering without Him.  Should we not, at least embody the same kind of love?

 

He "stands at the door and knocks" (that is the door of the Church)... Could it be that He does this in human form-in the form of the poor, the homeless, the unfortunate, the simple, the mentally ill, the incarcerated, and all the cultures we might not want to touch?

 

"If you have done it to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me..." (Jesus)  Lets consider today.

 


Posted by Pastor Kork at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 21 March 2008 5:13 PM EDT
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Friday, 24 November 2006
It's Hard to Be Like Jesus
Topic: Life In The Kingdom
Why would anyone choose to follow a God who promises more hardship, not less? Exposing the myth of a prosperity gospel.
By Philip Yancey

In my visits to churches overseas, one difference from North American Christians stands out sharply: their view of hardship and suffering. We who live in an age of unprecedented comfort seem obsessed with the problem of pain. Skeptics mention it as a major roadblock to faith, and believers struggle to come to terms with it. Prayer meetings in the U.S. often focus on illnesses and requests for healing. Not so elsewhere.

I asked a man who visits unregistered house churches in China whether Christians there pray for a change in harsh government policies. After thinking for a moment, he replied that not once had he heard a Chinese Christian pray for relief.

"They assume they'll face opposition," he said. "They can't imagine anything else." He then gave some examples.

Click HERE to Read On...


Posted by Pastor Kork at 11:58 AM EST
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Tuesday, 21 November 2006
SAVE DARFUR...
Topic: Life In The Kingdom

SaveDarfur.org has a post called "Materials for Thanksgiving Action" that's worth checking out...

Thanks for including the people of Darfur in your Thanksgiving celebration. We truly appreciate your help. There you will find links to download the two documents you'll need to share this desperate humanitarian crisis, including a one page document that provides a brief overview of the crisis in Darfur.

Thanks again for your help and concern.
Blessings,
Kork


Posted by Pastor Kork at 11:16 AM EST
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