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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 30, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas SAG Herald-Zeitung □ Friday, June 30,1995 Church Life ■ To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about Church Life, call 625-9144, ext. 21.Church LifeChurch BriefsChildren gather in The Upper Room The second year of the ecumenical teen summer program called The Upper Room is under way. This program is designed to provide a Christian atmosphere for weekly Bible study, prayer, food and fellowship for the youth of New Braunfels grades 9 through 12. Five churches have joined together to sponsor the weekly program: Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic, St. John’s Episcopal, St. Paul Lutheran, First United Methodist, and First Protestant. The tipper Room will be held in the activity center at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 236 W. Bridge, from June 7 through Wednesday, July 5, after which time it will move to St. Paul Lutheran for the remaining of the summer, July 12 through Aug. 9. The Upper Room is held every Wednesday from 7 to 11 p.m.Exploring God’s Kingdom at Vacation Bible School St. John’s Episcopal Church will be holding a Vacation Bible School July 10-14, 9 to 11:45 a.m. for all children in the New Braunfels area. ‘‘Exploring God’s Kingdom, An adventure in Prayer" will be taught to children ages 4 through (entering) fourth grade. Pre-registration is being held now. Forms are available in the church office, 312 S. Guenther, or call 625-2532 for more information.Heaven-sent love can be found in unlikely places!The Great Commission “The medical aspects of those teams opens doors. On the last tour, we had a team of 60 doctors, nurses and evangelism personnel — half of them were Mexican doctors and dentists and evangelists,” he said. More than 1,000 Mexicans benefited from the medical clinic on the last mission trip, and more than 500 of those made decisions for Christ, Ashby said. “Many times, people will walk for two days to get to the clinic because they never get the chance to visit a doctor. Then they’ll hang around all week.” Mission groups and Christians around the world are also targeting, in prayer, an area of the world that has long been closed to the Gospel of Christ, Ashby said. From Morocco in Northern Africa south to the Equator, and then eastward to Japan, religions including Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam have held sway over populations. As Christians begin praying for God to open those lands to the Gospel, Ashby and his wife, as well as a small group of others, will be traveling to Casablanca, Morocco for a time of prayer. Other mission groups around the world have similar trips in progress and in the works, Ashby said. “The focus is to send teams into IOO mega-cities. Worldwide, more than 100,000 people are joining teams to go into...areas, just to pray. You don’t know what prayer does — we may never know until we get to heav-en. To find out more about WIM or to support their work, contact the office at 629-0863. Missions organization spreading the Gospel By DOUG LOVEDAY Managing Editor From a small office on Hillcrest Drive, a New Braunfels-based missions organization is reaching out to the world, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and planting indigenous churches. World Indigenous Missions (WIM) is a missionary training and church planting agency that organizes and takes short-term missionary teams into areas all over the world, said R. Roland Ashby, Jr., director of WI Ms School of Missions. “We want them (new churches) to be selfsupporting and self-propagating. The leadership has to be trained,” Ashby said. WIM was formed in 1981 by a group of missionaries in Mexico who shared a vision for church planting in indigenous areas of Mexico and other countries. Currently, 45 missionary families are serving in countries as diverse as Spain, the former Soviet Union, The Philippines, Bolivia, Mexico, Indonesia and the Dominican Republic. “Our missionaries come from all over the United States. We also go to mission conferences and are known as a mission agency,” Ashby said. The group primarily is associated with non-denominational churches, offering those church groups a national network by which to support and participate in world missions. “WIM attempts to become a tool that these churches can use, to teach or reach the mission field — sometimes as a bridge for people to go into the mission field,” he said. Ashby was called into the mission field in 1988, and since then has made presentations in churches across the country as well as taken part in missionary trips overseas. In July, Ashby and WIM will be holding Youth Quake ‘95, a 10-day, ‘Our missionaries come from all over the United States.’ — R. Roland Ashby, Jr. cross-cultural mission trip with 200 North American youths and an equal number of youths from Mexico. The group will stay at a 300-year-old hacienda in San Luis Potosi, Mexico where they will undergo a three-day “boot camp”, which will feature rallies and instruction in mime, puppetry, drama and other youth ministry tools, Ashby said. They’ll then split up into Mexican-North American ministry teams and travel to six designated cities where they minister on the streets and in local churches. “Their number one goal is share the Gospel, to spread the Gospel. But this is also uniting the American Body Mime evangelism Photo courtesy of ROLAND ASHBY A Mexican drama team performs In a church in Zacatecas, Mexico during a recent mission trip organized by World Indigenous Missions. of Christ with the Mexican Body of Christ,” Ashby said. “I believe as the kids share together, pray and play together, a real unity will occur in the Body of Christ. Americans really have a terrible reputation...but as these kids come together, these walls come tumbling down.” In addition to the Youth Quake and family missionary work, WIM also oversees quarterly medical/evangelism trips from the U.S. into Mexico, with the intention of reaching out to the isolated Indian, unreached people groups, Ashby said. Tile weekend activity had placed four couples together in a mini-retreat to talk about our marriages and learn how to help others. The real issues of life are never easy to discuss but after a day of laughing and conversing everyone had dropped their guard enough to ensure transparency. The exercise for the morning was to answer a series of three questions concerning our life as a child The first question was easy enough for most. It was, “Who had given you attention when you were growing up ...who had left their world in order to enter the world of your childhood?” Bruce was thinking and you couldn’t help but feel the frustration that was building. I ie was captured by a sad little boy inside now challenged to tell the truth. It was not a pretty sight. I iere was this man upper middle class, successful, good kids, a good Christian man— facing the task of truth telling. He seemed to have everything in his court. I bs life had turned out well. Yet the pain of that simple question sunk like fog through his spint, dampening his soul with tears and highlighting memories that had remained shadows until now. He spoke with the refined accent of Louisiana breeding. “I guess that would have been the gardener." Pause. "He would be the one that would ask about my day when I came home from school. He was always there for me.” With tears, the story of Dennis un black gardener was to^ Tenderness soothed laciiianer us au uut lt was ^ to realize that the old gardener had taken the place of absent and unaware parents. Parents who Daily Bread never knew the heartfelt needs of a little boy, a little boy who needed someone to leave a world of busy-ness and work and enter into the world of a ten-year-old. Bruce continued. He told how his friend had taught him to hunt squirrels in the pecan bottoms. I low he would do all kinds of jobs for the man iii order to hear his approving words. How he would protect the man from the racial slurs that were so common in his town. And all because that old black man was rich in acceptance and affirmation and encouragement. Hie gardener took time to leave his world and live for a few moments each day in the life of a little white boy from Louisiana. It is no surpnse that many, if not most, of our generation has a similar story. Absent from memories are the people who most mattered, lf we are the sum total of our experience, then the result of this is evident in the social facts of our American society. But let me tell you what is really amazing. Tucked away in the Bible is a short sentence that gives us God’s perspective in our life. It is found in the first chapter of the letter to the Ephesians. He (God the Father) made us accepted in the Beloved Through all the misfortunes of life, through all the abuses anti the tragedy of unmet needs, and even through the unknown neglects that are so common, God’s intent is to constantly make a way to tell us through Jesus we are totally accepted by Him. That fact is not something that we want to readily accept. After all, it is painful to admit that one or both people w ho were supposed to provide total acceptance failed. Many would rather not deal with the painful truth. Others will not give up the anger and bitterness that the truth brings. God’s intent remains unchanged, unwavering, full of compassion, grace and mercy. Society that has excluded God has proven that it ijs powerless to provide the love and acceptance absent in the foundation of families. No government program will ever be able to supply emotional substance. Only God can. With tenderness and compassion, He looks for the path into our heart. His agenda is not self-serving, ing. He gives us everything and shows His compassion in every way. And it doesn’t even matter if we notice. Because He cares. And He wants to help. And sometimes, if you observe closely, He will use the most unlikely person to do it. Even someone like an old black gardener from Louisiana. (Dennis Gallaher is paster of Freedom Fellowship Church in New Braunfels.)Religion Briefs Pastors9 groups bridging gulfs between churches By DOUG LOVEDAY Managing Editor New Braunfels is a culturaliy-nch community, and its church community reflects that diversity with many different congregations and denominations represented. While the exchange between different denominations can often be difficult or strained, two local groups are bridging denominational barriers and bring clergy and laymen here together. The Ministerial Alliance is an organization that is open to ministers of all denominations, said Scott Tjemagel, pastor of Mission Valley Bible Cluirch. Th<? group meets every third Thursday for a noon luncheon at a local restaurant. “Different community service groups or ministry groups will present programs and just tell us what is going on,” Tjemagel said. “Any service organization is welcome to contact the pastors and show what we can do to recruit churches in this community to help.” What really brings the alliance of pastors together, however, is the fellowship they receive from one another, Tjemagel said. “We have a meal together, and we keep each other involved with the different ministries we’re involved in. We have the whole spectrum represented — liturgical and non-liturgical, traditional and non-traditional, evangelical and non-evangelical, and charismatic and non-charismatic,” he said. - “The fellowship is broad, and there is a real respect across the board.” Ken Peters, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, is the president of the alliance. The' Ministerial Alliance has also organized community-wide services, including Holy Week services. Many New Braunfels pastors also gather weekly for the City Pastors’ Prayer Fellow ship, a prayer group for ministers that also has an open invitation to church leaders across die denominational spectrum. ‘I think New Braunfels is very traditional, but it is very non-traditional for pastors to get together like this.’ — Scott Tjemagel “The whole purpose is to come together and pray together for the community. We pray for each other, for the different congregations, and for the city and county government,” Tjemagel said. “Like the Ministerial Alliance, it has brought together pastors from all denominations. Not everyone prays the same way, but I don’t know of a time when anyone has been offended. We’ve also gotten involved in events like ‘March for Jesus’ and the ‘National Day of Prayer’.” Not every local pastor is taking part in each of these two groups, but Tjemagel is thankful that so many have broken tradition and joined hands with their fellow ministers. “Things can improve, but at least we’ve got pastors that are willing to get in the same room together. There is a spirit of cooperation, but there is also a spirit of caution,” he said. “I think New Braunfels is very traditional, but it is very non-traditional for pastors to get together like this. It’s been a real joy.” Pig Wrestling Canceled at Church Picnic STEPHENSVTLLE, Wis. (AP) - City folks upset by the squealing have forced the cancellation of pig wrestling at this summer’s annual St. Patrick Catholic Church Roundup, a parishioner says. “Some city folks come out here and see the contest and don’t understand,” Diane Hofack-er said. “The city folks hear the pigs squealing a lot, but they squeal anyway. Pigs love mud.” The contest in which people chase the pigs in a muddy ring and put them on top of barrels generated an annual profit of $700 to $800 for the parish, she said. The competition lasts about a minute and volunteer firemen hose down the participants afterwards. “Seventy-five percent of the people don’t even catch the pig,” Hofackcr said. Outagamie County Sheriffs Sgt. Gene Sipple, who reviewed a videotape of the 1993 event made by animal rights activists, said the pigs weren’t being “handled or utilized iii an appropriate fashion.” “No one in the videotape was smiling,” Sipple said. Randy J. Albert of Christians Helping Animals and People filed a complaint about the competition with state Sen. Michael Ellis, R-Neenah, who forwarded it to the sheriffs department. “Veterinarians have told us it’s extremely stressful for the pigs,” Albert said. The church had planned to hold its 26th annual pig vy/estling competition at the Aug. 12-13 picnic. Federal Aid Not Available for Churches OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Churches and some nonprofit organizations devastated by the April 19 bombing will not be eligible for federal aid dollars, officials said. “We are worried, we are concerned, our hearts go out to the parishioners of those churches,” said Richard Krimm of the F ederal Emergency Management Agency. "But specifically, the law draws a line between secular, governmental and purely religious” activities. Disaster relief funding from the federal government is reserved for local and state governments or nonprofit agencies providing public services such as education or healtl care, said Krimm, FEM A’s associate direc tor of response and recovery. Laws governing the separation of churel and state exclude from funding building used mainly for religious activities. Officials were quick, however, to hold ou hope for the four churches damaged by th* blast at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Build mg. “Churches that incurred expenses to aid i the response or that perform essential service of a governmental nature may qualify fc governmental help,” Krimm said. “The one area where the law says we cai not provide funding is to rebuild or replac the church facility used for religious se vices. That law is governed by the princip of separation of church and state.” Edwin Lipscomb, the city’s lead loan of cer for the Small Business Administrate said low-interest loans are available to co er uncompensated losses. A few churches have picked up applicati forms, but no applications have be returned. T he Herald-Zeitung invites all churches in Comal County to share their news with the community. All church leaders are also welcome to submit columns or opinion pieces for this page. Send submissions to: Herald-Zeitung Church Life, 707 Landa St. New Braunfels, TX 78130 Or fax items to 625-1224.J I A I ;