Carson Lee was born on Tuesday, March 4, to Craig and Megan Lolling. Congratulations to the new parents and the grandparents, Steve and Sandra Lolling.
Claron Brown died on Saturday, February 22. The memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. today, at the church. We wish to express our sympathy to the immediate family: Dorothy Brown Neher (Paul), Winifred Brown Neher (Jim), Rosalie Brown Falcon (Cecilio), Lethia Brown Draves (Dave), and the other extended family members.
2014 Church Directories — Please check the table in the Good Shepherd Foyer and pick up the book with your name label.
The McPherson College Band and the McPherson Community Brass Choir will be performing a joint concert of classic wind band literature at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11, in Mingenback Theatre. Participants from the CoB include: Doris Coppock, Winona Godfrey, Darren Hendricks, Kyle Hopkins and Seth Schoming. Everyone is invited.
Lenten devotionals – “Real Rest” by Duane Grady, are available in the Church Gathering Space and in the Education Building literature rack.
Alexander Mack Men’s Fellowship will meet for dinner at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 13, in the Church Social Room. The program will be presented by Kirby Goering, Director of PET Moundridge, who will show and tell about the Personal Energy Transportation Program. PET Kansas is an International affiliate workshop that builds the PET, an all-terrain wheelchair, given to the disabled in developing countries. For reservations, contact Pete Brubaker (email@example.com) or Art Snell (620-241-2427) by today.
Your assistance will be appreciated at Camp Mt. Hermon on Friday – Sunday, March 14-16. Plans are to build the pavilion and work on other buildings. Hazel Lauver, camp cook, would welcome cooks, willing to assist with meal preparations. If you would like to be a part of this building/cooking effort, please contact Eldred Kingery (785-289-7584 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Would you like to become a member? Would you like to dedicate your child(ren)? To initiate a conversation, express your intent or to ask questions, contact: Pastors Chris, Jerry, or Kathryn, through the Church Office (620-241-1109).
“All for some–and none for all”
Sorry to have missed seeing you this past Sunday, friends in McPherson. And to have missed giving my jokes about leaving 69-and-sunny Arizona (where Francis and Jean Hendricks have fled, by the way) to come visit you on a very chill day–but also to acknowledge the reward of your warm fellowship.
I would have also noted that even with the chill, there is much to celebrate–your amazing response to our neighbors in Haiti–an island exploited since the time of Columbus–after 1492, the population of 250,000 reduced to several hundred within a few decades.
And to celebrate the 10th anniversary of New Community Project–we’ve made it this far by the grace of God and a lot of help from friends like you.
Paul Farmer of Partners in Health–a respected voice on Haitian issues–writes in his new book, To Repair the World, that what our global neighbors are looking for is accompaniment–someone who will walk with them until they–not we–say the journey is accomplished. This is different from our usual understanding of “mission”–which is typically on our terms and timeline.
This resonates with the passages from John and I John, which point to our oneness with others. Their sorrows and joys and struggles are ours as well. At a youth retreat at the Michigan Dunes when I was doing my field placement while at Bethany, the Methodist group I was leading was staying in the group camping area with other youth groups. One day, a young man from another group tragically drown. Being one of the first to hear about this, I related the sad news to other youth leaders in our group camping area. I’ll never forget hearing one of them say to her group as I left, “Just thank God it wasn’t one of us.” Wasn’t it? Wasn’t it one of us?
In the global community, we forget how our lives are linked–by the clothes they make and we wear. By the coffee they pick and we consume. By the climate we warm and they have to deal with–both the Darfur genocide and the Syrian civil war have their roots in a changing and warming climate. And of course God’s creation is being affected. Moose in the northern tier of the Lower 48 are dying off–being done in by as many as 150,000 ticks per moose, as the winters are no longer cold enough to kill off these tiny predators–and they’re sucking the life out of these behemoths. Moose populations are decreasing 8-10-12 percent per year.
We are in this together. The poor of the world often find they have two options as they survey their predicament–to give up or to get even. That’s what’s happening in Ukraine, Egypt, Bosnia, the Central African Republic. People feel cheated out of a decent chance for a decent life and are doing what they feel like they must.
So with one another as well as with the creation, we will fare–eventually–as they fare. We disregard the well-being of people and planet at our peril.
Jesus calls us to oneness, to a recognition of our common destiny, to a level of sharing and solidarity only possible through a spiritual transformation–a level of compassion and solidarity not as the world gives, but as he can give.
Nancy must have had some such feeling. She’s a woman in our network from PA who had been learning about the situation of women around the world–trying hard, often getting nowhere. Then one day she looked in her closet, realized she had plenty of clothes, made a decision not to buy any more in the coming year, and sent us the money — $1000 — she might have spent on new clothes. “Use it for your programs to help women have a better chance for a better life.” A woman in our society giving up clothes money–when there’s so much pressure for a woman to look a certain way? That’s transformation.
A young woman who lives near you has learned about the way palm oil–a near ubiquitous ingredient in everything from cosmetics to peanut butter–is grown in Indonesia–by cutting down tropical forests–and with them, the habitat of orangutan and many other creatures. Recently she stormed out of a local Walmart after finding just about every product she might have purchased contained palm oil–including ice cream. A Brethren giving up ice cream for a higher value? Didn’t know there were higher values for Brethren… This kind of oneness with God’s creation–that’s transformation.
That’s perhaps something of the oneness to which Jesus invites us. Our lives bound up with theirs–both God’s earth and God’s children–for the glory of God, for our neighbors’ good, and for the healing of all creation.
The penultimate concert of the 2013-14 Prairie Window Concert Series, will be held on Sunday, March 16 at 4 p.m. and will feature arguably one of the best mandolin players ever. The Matt Flinner Trio blends tremendous virtuosity, style that ranges from bluegrass to Celtic to jazz, and an edgy closing act with music written less than 24 hours before the show that audience members will not forget. Join us at the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston for an evening of great music and good food in a prairie garden setting. Tickets: $20 adults/$10 kids. Arboretum members receive a 10% discount. Call 620-327-8127 to reserve your seats.
McPherson College Mohler Lecturer
To Present on Altruistic Organ Donation
On Sunday, March 9 at 4 p.m. in the sanctuary of the McPherson Church of the Brethren, Dr. Galen Switzer will present “Helping Others: Common and Uncommon Acts of Altruism” for the 39th annual Mohler Lecture, sponsored by McPherson College. Dr. Switzer is the son of McPherson residents, Ed and June Switzer.
Two men stand on the stage. One man is a veteran with a wife and three-year old daughter, and he was dying of leukemia. He’s not dying of it any more, thanks to the other man, who went through the physically uncomfortable process of donating his bone marrow to him. As they embrace on stage – stuttering awkwardly and crying – it’s the first time the two men have actually met each other.
Dr. Switzer, a 1985 alumnus of McPherson College, sat in the audience that day at the annual meeting of the National Marrow Donor Program, which has more than 11 million potential donors registered.
“It’s one of the most emotional things that happens to me in any given year,” he said. “The donor has been given the opportunity to save someone else’s life. This is one of the few situations where you can truly save someone’s life – apart from an emergency – and bring them back from the brink of death.”
Dr. Switzer is professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and associate director of the VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion. His research focus is primarily on the motivations that underlie donors’ decisions to give living organ and tissue donation to people unrelated to them – such as the gentleman who saved the life of that veteran, father and husband.
It’s a deep area of research, as Dr. Switzer has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers in journals as well as textbook chapters, many of which are on the topic of organ and tissue donation. In particular, he’s interested in what stimulates someone to choose to help, what makes them decide to follow through on the commitment, what barriers keep others from following through and how those challenges can be overcome.
Some of the challenges Dr. Switzer has considered and investigated in his research are counter-intuitive – such as a growing number of people joining the registry and new pain-free methods of joining the registry with a simple swab of the cheek for DNA.
The problem, Dr. Switzer said, is that it’s become too easy to join the registry and there’s an element of peer pressure in many of the community drives for the registry. When someone actually comes up as a match months or even years later, however, there’s a greater risk of that potential donor backing out.
To combat these issues, Dr. Switzer was instrumental in eliminating various incentives community drives used to offer for joining the registry. He’s also made other counter-intuitive recommendations, such as requiring a two-step process – giving the information and the swab, then confirming the registration a few days or weeks later. These measures may reduce the quantity of potential donors, but the quality greatly increases.
“It goes against all good business principles,” he said. “If this were a product you were selling, you would want to make it as easy as possible to get to. But people should be making a decision based on some internal value about the need to help others.”
Dr. Switzer said his interest in altruism goes back to his parents. His mother was a nurse, his father was a teacher and together they raised 15 foster children. “I grew up in a family of amazing helpers,” he said. “My parents were always helping someone do something. Growing up in a household like that stimulated me to think about why people help.”
Learning about the 1964 case of Kitty Genovese – murdered in New York while many of those who heard the confrontation did nothing – spurred Dr. Switzer to learn more about why people don’t help when they could. This was further reinforced when in a psychology class, he and all his classmates just stood by and watched while his professor fell to the ground, gasping for breath (he was fine; it was only a class demonstration). “That really solidified my interest in investigating this as a career,” Dr. Switzer said.
Across the course of his career, what Dr. Switzer has concluded is that it matters little whether “true altruism” actually exists. That is, someone helping for no personal benefit at all – even psychological or emotional. “It doesn’t really matter whether you can prove that someone got a personal benefit out of helping,” Dr. Switzer said. “What’s really amazing is that we live in a culture that tells us we will feel good if we help others.”
As Dr. Switzer heard from that marrow donor, as well as countless others, it was “no big deal” for them to give and it made them feel amazing to help. For those who receive, though, it makes all the difference.
The Mohler Lecture is named for Robert Mohler, former dean and biology professor at McPherson College. The lecture series is the oldest at the college. Dr. Robert Mohler and Mrs. Fern Mohler established this lectureship in 1975 to bring well-known speakers in a broad array of academic disciplines to McPherson College and the surrounding communities.
The lecture is free and the public is invited and encouraged to attend.
Adam Pracht, public relations coordinator, 620-242-0425, email@example.com
McPherson College, located in central Kansas, is a four-year private liberal arts college offering more than 20 bachelor’s and pre-professional programs, as well as an experiential master of education degree. Throughout the curriculum, students are encouraged to explore their ideas, to learn through doing and to make a difference in the world. McPherson College, affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, is committed to the ideals of scholarship, participation, and service – developing whole persons, prepared for fulfilling life vocations.
Visit www.mcpherson.edu for more information about McPherson College.