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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 27, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas 6ABHerald2eitung Friday Jan Church Life 1 To talk with Managing Editor Mark Lyon about Church Life call 6259144 Church Life Michael McManus Knowing how and where to fill the needs Programs like AFDC combined with food stamps and housing assis tance although meant for good have broken up more families than slavery ever did As a result of these broken families children are being raised without fathers in the home This single fact con tributes more than any thing to the chaotic atmos phere in our inner writes Rev John Perkins a pioneer of black selfhelp programs in Policy of the Heritage Foundation But how can welfare reform produce stable twoparent among mil lions who are second or third generation wel fare recipients who dont know how to get or keep a job Perkins notes that people motivated by their religious convictions are much more effective in administering charity than impersonal gov ernment agencies Why Because they are much more likely to do what is in the best interest of the person asking for help even if it involves tough An urban example Mississippi Gov Kirk Fordice invited the states churches to each take responsibility for getting one family off of welfare in a program called Faith and To Elder Jim Reed pastor of the Community Temple Church of God in Jackson the idea hit me like a ton of he told a reporter of the Faith without works is dead If you see a brother in need or destitute and dont help them what good is faith He knew of a fami ly of 12 living in a tworoom sharecroppers shack and told his 75member church about them They agreed to adopt the family if it was willing to move to Jackson Christine Jones 47 quickly accepted the offer We were living with my boyfriend who would drink and become abusive I was tired of living in sin and I wanted something better for me and my Her house had plen ty of holes where rats and snakes could come Now they live in a fourbedroom home with furniture donated by church members She a sister and her mother are all enrolling in a GED program to get high school diplomas The governor has hundreds of inquiries Churches get blind profiles of families to protect their privacy while allowing the church to select the family it will assist Call 601 Mary Nelson is a white woman whose brother is pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church on the West Side of Chicago where whites lived in which is now all black 42 percent of whom are in poverty Yet she sees assets where others see only grim problems One of our assets is she says We have a lot of garbage and we now have 125 jobs in the recycling business And in pro viding home care to 750 elderly every day 350 people are employed in jobs that have career ladders Home care is a job development strat By keeping the elderly out of nursing homes which cost in Medicaid funds each month the state pays only per month for home care saving Illinois taxpayers mil lion a year Equally important Bethel New Life has moved 350 people off of welfare into satisfy ing jobs Shirley King 38 whose husband ran off after a younger was on welfare for a decade feeling deprived of everything You cant afford movies or the luxury of getting your hair Bethel trained her to be a certified nurses assistant in a threemonth course where she learned how to care for Alzheimers take blood pressure pulse be the eyes and ears of a nurse in reading symptoms bathing and helping patients Mrs Kings income jumped from about a month to and what she relished is You dont have to account to anyone for your money You dont have to bring your light bill and telephone bill to a case worker feeling invaded Thats totally Mary Nelson says Bethel New Life could take over management of 25 percent of the welfare cases in her area over 18 months We can use a communitybased approach rather than bureaucracy People need a support system Often the first job doesnt fit We can guarantee results if we had a perfor mance contract getting paid only for actual job is anyone in Washington listening Michael McMtmus is a syndicated colum SISTER MARGARET Dennis Gallaher I met an angel the other day She was 50ish short a nun and had a delightfully inviting Irish accent that drew me to her like a bird to running water We were having lunch and her table was close enough for me to over hear the melody of her voice that pitched and peaked with the laugh of one who knew what life was really about She was eavesdropping too And since the occasion lent itself to casual introduc tions she soon scraped her chair across the hardwood floor to have a little chat That was the first clue that she was an angel Who in this world would join their voice to a bunch of pastors over dinner unless they were an angel Im Sister Margaret and Im fresh out of she coyly explained Ive been hit ting the bars in Bexar County for 20 years now and Ive come here for a bit of a jail break Well this runaway nun certainly had our attention Of course that was also my second clue that she was an angel The confession though sincerely honest couldnt hide the twinkle in her eye and the giggle in her voice This lady was an unusu al find It rums out that our friend really was fresh from the jailhouse She is a prison chaplain in the Bexar County Jail and has been hitting the prison bars that is for the past 20 years This little dynamo from heaven has spent her life with the least of these offering comfort counsel and tough love to countless numbers of streetwise criminals There are times in my life that I recognize that I am in the midst of greater grace This was one of those times Here was a soldier of the Cross who had given her life in the pursuit of souls at the bottom of the barrel She told us of the days when the jail wouldnt let her in and her struggles to gain unlimited access to the violent criminals in solitary confinement She described to us the deplorable filth and abuse that has changed dramatically over the years much of which is because of a little nun with a mission from God and an Irish twinkle in her eye But one story stood out Let me tell it to you Sister Margaret had not been at the jail very long The conditions in the county lockup were deplorable even for a prison Filth and disease were the order of the day Roaches and rodents roamed freely in the dank overcrowded hole The day was not unlike the others where she was greeted first with the stench of rotting sewage and then the sight of rotting souls She entered the room where the prison guards congregated Mind you she was a threat to their system and they disdained her even more than the criminals But remem ber shes really an angel and angels dont mind what others think about them Over in the comer a prisoner lay balled up semiconscious and in great agony The smell of his vomit permeated the room but was of no account to the guards who were oblivious to the man Sister Margaret was appalled She cradled the mans head know ing that he was a heroin addict in the hell of withdrawal Certainly of no concern to any one except an angel of course But she didnt earn her wings without guts Turning to the guards she spoke with the command of a master sergeant You Yes you Fetch a little water and bring it here this instant And that means now Obviously one of the guards had spent some time in the care of nuns Former altar boys never cross a nun I should know So here is the scene A heroinaddicted prisoner and a nun are on the floor in the corner of the Bexar County Jail She orders a jailer to assist in the compassionate care she is giving the man The guard reluctant ly responds with a tin cup of water and holds it at arms length But remember This is an angel we are talking about Before the guard knew what happened Sister Margaret has placed the prisoner in his lap and taken his hand to cra dle the mans filthy head Now she places the cool cup of water in his other hand and guides it to the prisoners lips The guard is caught between his disdain for the man and the compassion of the little nun who pressed him into service And then his life is changed as she lovingly crushes his stone of a heart with the words of her Master she says Dont you realize that if you give a cup of cold water to the least of Gods creatures you are giving it to Jesus The room where we sat seemed conse crated None of us knew what it meant to care for the least of these like Sister Mar garet of the Bexar County Jail She had us dead in her sights Her broken heart shone through eyes that now moistened with the tears of compas sion Dear her words resonated from deep in her soul Please remember to pray for those in prison Please pray for the Remember the prisoners as if chained with who are Hebrews was in prison and you came to words of Jesus in Matthew Ive read those words hundreds of times and managed to avoid the commands and blessings each time But no more Through the vessel of a wee Irish nun the words of Scripture came alive and penetrated my very soul So pray for the prisoners with me wont you And also for Sister Margaret the angel of the Bexar County Jail Dennis Gallaher is pastor of Freedom Fellowship Church in New ELC executive director to be featured speaker at 15th Annual Krost Symposium From staff reports Rev Dr W Robert Sorensen executive director of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Americas Division for Higher Education and Schools will be a speak er at Texas Lutheran Colleges 15th annual Krost Symposium entitled Education A Cul ture in Search of a Renewed The symposium will be held Feb 67 in the colleges Jackson Auditorium Sorensen will speak during the fourth session of the symposium His address will be followed by a response from Dr Nancy Burns professor of education department chairperson and hold er of the Jo Murphy Chair in Education at Texas Lutheran Amy Citzler a junior English major at the college from Pflugerville the Rev Dr Arthur Preisinger director of Lutheran Insti tute for Religious Studies and assistant profes sor of theology and history at Texas Lutheran and Dr Donald D Schmeltekopf provost and vicepresident for academic affairs at Baylor University Other symposium presenters include Dr Edwin J Delattre professor of education and dean of the School of Education at Boston Uni versity Diana Lam superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District Dr Lionel Skip Meno commissioner of education for the State of Texas and Dr Carol J Guardo presi dent of the Great Lakes Colleges Association a consortium of 12 selective private liberal arts colleges located in the Upper Midwest The 1995 Krost Symposium hopes to explore an array of issues related to education in Amer ica today and in the future said Dr Leonard G vicepresident for academic affairs and academic dean at Texas Lutheran and a member of the 1995 Krost Symposium Com mittee Sorensen leads the division responsible for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Americas edu cational mission in its 29 colleges and univer sities 216 campus ministries 142 elementary and secondary schools and early child hood education centers He is a graduate of Concordia College Moorhead Luther Seminary and the University of Iowas School of Religion He has served as pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Tabor MN St James Lutheran Church Burnsville MN and St Paul Lutheran Church Davenport IA and has served on the staff and fac ulty of Augustana College Rock Island IL and the University of North Dakota Texas Luther ans Krost Sym posium brings scholars govern ment and church officials journal ists and others to the campus to dis cuss issues of rel evance and importance to the community at large It is one component of the colleges Krost Life Enrichment Program which is designed to pro mote the spiritu al physical social and intel lectual development of Texas Lutherans stu dents faculty and staff The symposium begins at on Feb 6 and will conclude at noon the following day Registration is after Jan Full time college and high school students and senior Rev Dr W Robert Sorensen citizens 65 and over receive a 50 percent dis count Persons attending the entire symposium are eligible to receive Continuing Education Units For additional information or to register for the symposium call Briefs First Protestant to Host recording star Clay Crosse Friday Feb 17 Nashvilles hottest top recording star Clay Crosse will appear in concert Friday night Feb 17 at First Protestant Church Clay had two hits in 1994 and two songs in the top five hits for 1994 His 1994 tours included performances with Twila Paris Kathy Troccoli and The Young Messiah Word Records showcase of top recording His tape My Place Is With You can be purchased at The Shepherds Shop He is scheduled to appear this month on the Conan OBrien Late Night Show Tickets are and are now available for purchase at First Protestant Church or from a ticket representative Call Marty Lindley at 6097729 St Johns begins supper club for adults 35 and under St Johns proudly announces the first gathering of our Supper Club for Adults Age 35 and Under Anyone who meets the age requirement whether mar ried or single and who is interested in food fun and fel lowship is cordially invited to St Johns Parish Hall on Sat urday Feb 4 beginning at Dress casually and comfortably and bring a dish of food to share A babysitting coop will be provided but please feed your kids before you come Join us to feast and frolic welcomed to FPC team The new Minister of Christian Education and Youth the Rev erend Pat Vollertsen has arrived in New Braunfels and is excited about being a part of the First Protestant Church ministerial the team is excited to have her on board Pat and Amanda her 19year old daughter arrived in New Braunfels from the St Louis Missouri area on Jan 15 She has two other adult children daughter Adrianne Gilbert mar ried to Staff Sgt David Gilbert and son John of Boulder Col orado Pat is a very young grand mother to Adrianne and Davids children Cassie and Justin Pats educational background is mainly in health care Before enrolling in seminary in 1991 Pat worked for many years as a Physicians Associate medical technician or practical nurse Her work history in health care involved geriatrics obstetrics hospice care and preschool health care Additionally she has served as community librarian medical office personnel program direc tor site manager and various positions at a church camping facility After graduating from Eden Theological Seminary in Dec of 1994 Pat was ordained Jan 8 at Zion Church in Union Missouri Her involvement in the church has been on the local regional and national levels Many of her endeavors have focused on youth as they relate to the church and Christian education She is an advocate of the Out door Education Ministries serves on the National Youth Event Planning Committee and has served as songleader and keynote speaker in six confer ences During her seminary years Pat was Director of Youth Ministries at St Lucas Church in St Louis County Missouri Reverend Vollertsen summa rizes her vision for ministry as follows To empower and lead and learn together as we serve each other and the world invit ing everyone to share in the good news of Jesus Her method for ministry is to invite involve and invest in the com mon life we share in the First Protestant Church and the New Braunfels community wel comes Reverend Vollertsen
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