New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, March 31, 1995, Page 6

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

March 31, 1995

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Issue date: Friday, March 31, 1995

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 31, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas • ■ HgrNd-ZNtunQB Friday, March3i, 1986 Church Ufo CTO talk with Interim Managing Editor Roger Croteau about Church Life, cai) 62S-9144, ext. 21. Church Life Church Briefs The First Protestant Church of New Braunfels offers the following events in the celebration of Easter • Wednestky Lenton Services—Through April 5—7:30 pjn. • Saturday Night Goapd Service—April 8—Contemporary Worship, Country Dance, «d Food Concessions, 6 pm. • Palm Sunday—April 9—Worship Services, 8 am and 10:30 am; Sunday School, 9 am; The Donkey Walk, 9:30 arn; The First Protestants Easier Egg Hunt, 2 pan. • Maundy Thurwfcy—April 13—Community Worship Service, 12:15 pjn. • Good Friday—April 14—Community Worship Service, 12:15 pm • Earn Sunday—April 16—Sunrise Service at the Plaza, 7 am; Worship Services, 8 am and 10:30 am; Sunday School, 9 am The First Protestant Church is located on Seguin Street, one block east of the downtown Plaza. 210409-7729. Celebrate God’s plan to reach you and restore your relationship with Him through His only Son, Jesus Christ! WWvfi WOVVNVl UTVHQ pUwl April Church Women United will be holding a luncheon on April 7,1995 at 11:30 am in the Family Life Center of First Protestant Church. Tile program will be on "Community in Schools.” The suggested $5 donation per person will go to help the "Community m Schools” program. 8aesmid Oihavm lo spaalt Hi Counting Hours Rev. Charles DeHaven, minister of St. Paul Lutheran Church, will speak at the final Lenten Community Lunch on Friday, April 7. Soloist will be soprano Carity Talco®. The ecumenical series, sponsored by First United Methodist Church, is being brid every Friday during Lent horn 12:15 pm-12:45 pm Everyone is asked to bring a sack lunch; rite church is providing beverages. The lunch wiH take place in Wesley lf Hall, located on the Mill Street side of First United Methodist Church. For more information, call 625-4513. Methodist wonton to hoot On Tuesday, April 4, the United Methodist Women will have as their guest. Rev. Billy Boyd Smith, Associate Pastor at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas. He will give a dramatic presentation of the last meeting of Jesus with his disciples and the supper on Maundy Thursday. This program will include Holy Communion. The members of the Ruth Circle will host the fellowship hour at 9:15 a.m. and the program will begin at 9:45 a.m. in the Assembly Room. A nursery for pre-school children will be provided All interested persons we cordially invited to attend ‘The Last Supper,” a live depiction of the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, will be presented by Triumphant Lutheran Church in Gaiden Ridge on Thursday, April 13, at 7:30 pm Thirteen men of the congregation will bring the painting to “life” as Jesus and His disciples have their last meal together before His crucifixion. The portrayal is very moving, especially the sharing of Communion. PMbn Sunday Donfcoy Waft' Is rn An area churches and interested spectators are invited to attend and participate in a parade celebrating Jesus* Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday, April 9. This annual march, called the "Donkey Walk,” begins al 9:30 am with a lineup a the comer of Coll St. and Casted St. (near the Entex building), proceeds to Seguin St., heading around the Plaza, back down Seguin St. to end in front of Furs Protestant Church (comer of Seguin St. and Coll St). The "Donkey Walk” is a re-enactment of that fins Palm Sunday, and will be led by someone dressed as Jesus and nding a live donkey! Participants are encouraged to dress in costumes of old Jerusalem, although that is not a requirement. Everyone is guaranteed a fun experience. There will be lota of children singing and carrying colorful banners, and FREE balloons and FREE palm branches will be given away. Because the "Donkey Walk” is so much fen and not hkc any ordinary parade held in our city, First Protestant Church hopes that other area churches will expand upon their usual celebration of Palm Sunday, and join us rn to exctlemsnt of Nm 3rd annuel "Donkey Walk” around the Plaza on April 9, 10:00 a.m. It just dawned on me that I’ve been cheated. For two years in a row. Twice, in as many years, I’ve journeyed to Anions to conduct seminars for one of my favorite churches. Both times I happened to be there on the weekend when Americans abandon Daylight Savings Time. All Americans, that is, except Arizonans (and few other independent souls who refuse to count time like the rest of us). So for two years now I’ve been in a place where nobody tinkers with their clocks on the Saturday night before Halloween. For two years, while folks at home were bedded down for an extra hour of shuteye, I went to bed late and rose early with no extra winks in between. In other words, for two Octobers now I have foiled to reclaim the hour of sleep I surrendered the previous April. By my calculations I’m two hours short. I’ve been cheated! I realize this may not sound like too big a deal to some of you, but when a follow gets up pari half a hundred years old and the clock seems to be ticking foster, he can’t afford to squander the few hours that remain, can he? The longer I live, rile more hours I seem to need. I’ve got more gnmdkids now who need to bounce on my knee. And new ones keep arriving! God keeps giving me more and more chances to touch hearts and lives. Through this column. In the Bible classes at the high school. Through books I’m writing. In seminars across the land. I can’t seem to mn fori enough to enter all rile doors He’s opening. And that’s not all. Around God’s good world are scattered some majestic places I still intend to see someday. And others I hope to see again, if He allots me enough hours to roam that for. Today I attended the premature funeral of a special lady whose retirement plans ended almost before they began. Weeping for her, many of us left the church freshly aware of our own mortality. Calendar-buying time gets harder each year. It’s a lot more fen when you’re young, when you don't even to pause to wonder if this night be the last calendar you’ll need. Teach us to number our days,” the psalmist prayed. I’m ahead of him. I’m counting hours. (Gene Shelburne may be con-tooted at 2310 Anna St., Amarillo, TX, 79106.) From ashes to victory: The Easter lesson By Rev. Robert F. Keith Rector, St. John's Episcopal Church The Koreans have a curious custom. At the beginning of each year, they will reflect on the bad habits they’d like to eliminate from their lives and what evil deeds they want forgiven. So, they write them on a kite and fly it high in the sky. When it’s almost out of sight, die string is cut and rile kite disappears from view. The belief is that all former faults and transgressions are forever removed. Unlike the Korean kite-flyers, Christians who “cut loose” of their sins go them one better, because they’re not left to drift in the wind over us. Jesus takes them to himself and forgets them. They are nailed to the cross. He wipes them completely from His mind and remembers them no more. So, if God forgets them, they no longer exist Then comes Easter. Out of the ashes of sin rises the fresh fire of the victory of resurrection—yours and mine! Death, the final enemy, has no more power. We have moved from ashes to victory. Praise the name of Jesus! (The Rev. Robert F. Keith is Rector of St. John s Episcopal Church, 312 S. Guenther.) Cross Lutheran Church Locstsd st 169 South Hickory Avenue, Cross Lutheran Church holds Sunday worship at 8 un. and 10:30 im Sunday school at 9:15 am. Inner city ministers seek alternatives to white seminaries PHILADELPHIA (AP) — As a black minister looking to further his theological education, the Rev. William Moore had few choices in 1985 — unless he was willing to attend a predominantly white seminary. A decade later, the nearest black divinity school is still 120 miles from Philadelphia, the nation’s fifth largest city and home to more than 2,000 black churches. Blacks are the majority at only a handful of Christian seminaries in the country. “A white professor could not tell me how to evangelize black folks in the inner city any more than I could tell them how to develop an evangelism strategy for white Christians in the suburbs,” said Moore, 52, now working on his doctorate A group of400 local black ministers called Black Clergy Inc. have launched a program with four mostly white Protestant seminaries in the Philadelphia area to offer classes tailored for black pastors Black professors will teach 12 new elective courses emphasizing the role of blacks in ChnsbanJistory. Topics will include the history of the black church in metropolitan areas, feminist theology and black church theology The initiative, sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia, aims to provide black ministers with knowledge to let churchgoers know "that everyone in the Bible is not ... white, that we were there from the beginning, that we were not God’s afterthought,” said Audrey Bronson, dean of the Philadelphia Urban Education Institute, which is administenng the plan. Participating schools are Lutheran, Westminster and Eastern Baptist seminaries, and the Center for Urban Theological Training. Moore, a member of Black Clergy Inc., calls the program the only grassroots initiative in the nation. Black church members make up about 9 percent of the country’s adult population, yet only five of 168 accredited Christian seminanes in the country are predominantly black, according to the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Howard University’s divinity school in Washington, D C., is one of the few. Black pastors art forced to attend white institutions, not always getting the training they need to communicate effectively with their urban religious communities. Organizers hope the Afrocentnc classes offered at the Philadelphia seminaries will make expanding their formal education less threatening for black pastors. Roughly 49.1 percent of all black clergy hold at least a bachelor’s degree, said Wardell Payne of the Howard divinity school’s research center. Another 18.3 percent have taken some college courses, Payne said, citing a study published in the 1990 book “The Black Church in the Afncan-Amencan Experience.” “I think that the black community itself is becoming a better-trained community, and as education levels rise <i>» the community, they may expect higher education of pastors,” said George S. Worcester, secretary-treasurer for the Association for Practical Theology in St. Louis. Many ministers juggle full-time jobs with church duties, making attending classes difficult, said Joel Carpenter, director of the religion program for the Pew Charitable Trusts. Another obstacle is what Carpenter calls the “intimidation factor.” Some black ministers are afraid to return to school if they lack bachelor's degrees Their reticence is further fueled by a perception among some black clergy that white-based courses offered at nearby seminanes are irrelevant to their needs. “We’ve been a center of the community,” Bronson said. “We have day care centers. Most of our activities have been in our churches. Many of our black colleges came out of our denominations. Our churches have served as a hope for our black people.” -* Black ministers must know not only how to deliver a sermon and plan Easter services, but how to fill the additional roles of social and political ad\ ocate and family counselor. Eric Ohlmann, vice president and academic dean of Eastern Baptist, hopes Black Clergy’s initiative will help bolster the seminary’s already strong recruitment of black students. “They will at least have the opportunity of taking ... courses taught from an African-American perspective within the course of three years,” Ohlmann said. And churches with better-educated pastors are more likely to do things to help the community, Carpenter said. Since 1993, Pew has pledged $400,000 to plan and implement the education institute. Turning away from those in need abandons God’s commandment Judith Mil lur The text for last Sunday was the parable of the “prodigal son ” It’s a well-known and beloved story from the Gospel of Luke. (Chapter 15, if you’d like to read it again!) Pernaps though, too familiar and loved. Maybe so comfortable that many of us have forgotten the scandal and the tension that the original hearers—the group of tax collectors, sinners, Pharisees, and teachers of the law—must surely have felt. As I pondered this during the week, as I tried to think of a way to bong the ancient situation clearly into our modem day, I began to see the face of another prodigal son, one whom I once knew I no longer remember his name. He came into the emergency room one evening, brought there by the EMS unit that found him lying unconscious on the city street. My first impression as I glanced down quickly at his face, was that he was young, pale, incredibly thin, and violently ill. I did not stop, even for a moment, to wonder what circumstances had led to his being there. I knew only that my next task, my ministry at that critical tune, was to make a connection for him, to find his family. Certainly, I thought, someone must care where he is, what is happening to him, and will want to come. A dnver’s license in his wallet gave me a name and address and soon I was dialing his home. “Hello,” a man’s voice answered. “Mr So-and So?” I asked "Yes,” he said I took a deep, prayer-filled breath and continued, “Sir, this is the chaplain from the hospital. I do not want to alarm you but your son has been brought to our emergency room. I know that you must be concerned and the doctors need to speak with you about his care Could you comr immediately?” I held my breath and waited I had made this kind of call dozens of times and had grown to expect everything from hysteria to disbelief in response. But absolutely nothing had prepared me for the reply that came that night In a voice flat and firm, he responded, “Chaplain, I understand your call. But you need to know that under no circumstance will my wife or I be coming to die hospital Good-bye.” The phone were dead It was met with glum but knowing acceptance. Soon, I too began to understand Our young patient was near death from the complications of AIDS. Over the next couple of days, I visited with him and listened to parts of his story. How he had left home to “make it” on his own. How he had become involved in situations and with people so unlike those he had known in the upper middle class neighborhoods whim. he had been raised. How in time, he had lost his self-respect, his pnde, his health, and all of the people he had ever loved. How he was alone. One evening, he turned to me. With tears spilling from hts eyes, he spoke in his thin, frail voice, “I know I am dying And I know why. But before I go, all I want is to sec the faces of my mother and father one last time. “Chaplain,” he pleaded, “would you please call them for me?” I walked to the phone and dialed the number. The man's voice answered. “Sir, this is the chaplain. Sir, your son is dying and he has asked to see you...” In a voice laden with anger came the reply, “Chaplain, NO! That young man has made his bed and now he can DIE in it!” The phone clicked loudly. The young man's eyes met mine when I entered Ute room and even before I could speak, he responded, “I know. Thank you for trying.” Shortly after midnight, I received a call and ran back to his room The medical team was already leaving. There was nothing more to be done. I stayed with his body for a while, then returned to the phone. The now familiar voice answered again. “Sir,” I said quietly, “your son has died. I thought you should know.” After a moment of absolute silence, the line went dead I share that story not as a commentary or a judgment And I am aware of the range of emotions that surely accompany it for I have felt them all myself—from sympathy, pity and empathy to outrage and anger— toward both the son and the father. Yet, I share the story because it graphically reminds me of the grace of God that Jesus portrayed. When you or I turn away, when we abandon all that God has commanded and called us to be, then we deserve no more than to die alone and condemned by our Heavenly Father as this son by his earthly father And yet, thanks be to God! For God welcomes us home when we come claiming in faith the saving love of Jesus Christ In the next two weeks, we will tell that awe-filled story again and again the story of the cross and the resurrection. It’s the perfect time for all of us “prodigals” and we are all “prodigals” —to find our way home to Chnst. Find a place. Find a time Find the open, waiting, and forgiving arms of the Father. Find Easter life! (The Rev Judith Miller is the pastor af St Paul Lutheran Church in New Braunfels) Religion in the News Bamardln to VUeaJva Proatlploun Honor SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin of Chicago will receive the 1995 Laetarc Medal, Notre Dame’s president said. “Cardinal Bernardin has been the very exemplar of the bishop as a pastor, teacher and witness to the Gospel,” said the Rev. Edward Malloy, Notre Dame’s president. “With this Laetare Medal, Notre Dame celebrates the manner in which his personal life and public ministry have combined tc become a treasure of the church.” The award will be presented May 21 during Notre Dame’s commencement ceremonies. Bernardin, a Columbia, S.C., native, was ordained in 1952 and became the country’s youngest bishop in 1966, wrier he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Atlanta by Pope Paul VI. He was appointed archbishop of Cincinnati in 1972 and served there for IO yean before he was named Chica go’s archbishop Bernardin was made a cardinal in 1983. A ;

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