Living by Example
God's Pure Water Mission
Ced Currin, Andrew Hays, and Juan Lopez left on January 10, 2015, to travel to the region of Tuxtepec in the State of Oxaca in the southwest part of Mexico. From there they traveled around the Oxaca and Veracruz states looking for water and visiting different communities.
While on their trip, they learned about how water gets to houses and how people have to buy their drinkable water. They spent a lot of time in the mud, in the jungle, and the fields looking for springs, wells, and where the rainwater rests. They had the opportunity to meet with episcopal churches and share numerous meals.
The group came back on January 17, tired and full of ideas of how to reach our neighbor country.
Pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan, Feb. 2-15, 2015
On February 2, my wife, Jane, and I will be joining eight others on pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan. We will be journeying together through the Holy Land for two weeks visiting Caesarea, Nazareth, The Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Jericho, Petra in Jordan, Bethany, the Dead Sea, Masada, Bethlehem and, of course, the ancient city of Jerusalem. It will be a heart-opening experience for all! Please keep us in your prayers as we travel. Those traveling are: Tom and Jane Schacher, Cathy Chang, Steven and Annie Jenkins, Art Kuper Jr., Art Kuper III, Sharon Leenhouts, Julie DeRuiter, and Jennifer Warren.
One of the amazing places of pilgrimage where we shall spend time is the Wailing Wall. The Wailing Wall is in the midst of the Old City in Jerusalem and is the section of the western supporting wall of the Temple Mount, which has remained intact since the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple (70 C.E.). This Wall became the most sacred spot in Jewish religious and national consciousness and tradition by virtue of its proximity to the Western Wall of the Holy of Holies in the Temple, from which, according to our Jewish brothers and sisters, the Divine Presence never departed.
This is why every day people place prayer notes in the cracks of the wall. The idea is not that they are praying to the Wall, but rather it is believed that the Divine Presence rests on the Western Wall more than other places. Furthermore, the Talmud teaches that all prayers ascend to heaven through Jerusalem.
Today, millions of people visit the Western Wall each year and place prayer notes in the cracks. This means that the cracks can get pretty full of prayers. You can sometimes even see one person standing on another’s shoulders just to get their note into an available crack. Because of the great volume, every so often all the notes are removed from the Wall and buried, along with other holy objects that are not being used anymore.
As I prepare to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I am considering what prayers I will bring to the wall. In ancient times, a high priest was selected on special occasions to go into the temple, light the incense, and pray on behalf of the people. I shall be taking my own prayers to the Wailing Wall and placing them in the cracks. I would count it a precious thing to carry your prayer notes with me, as well, and place them in the wall. This is something simple I can do that I believe will honor God.
To this end, I will place a basket in front of the communion table in the main sanctuary, one on the table outside of the Assembly Room, and one in Mayton Hall. The baskets will be present on Sundays, January 18, 25 and February 1. Please place your prayer notes in the baskets before or after worship. I will collect them after each service. I will then carry them with me to Jerusalem and place them in the wall of the Temple. Please know that I will keep these prayers private. I will not read them nor will I share them with anyone. I will simply place them in the Wailing Wall and offer them to God.
Keep your hearts open and your faith strong!