Conflicts in Caperston mimic some challenges throughout the world today. The stratification of haves and have-nots is increasing, particularly in America. The rich get richer and the poor ... ???
The movement in Caperston, led by Zester, to denounce the mountain people as equals led to the violence in their society? What do you think we
can learn from Caperston's trials and tribulations?
Did not inequality lead to the massacre on the highway?(http://christianteensactivities.org/newstoryApril2014.php)
Did not impatience lead to the martyrdom of Dustin? (http://christianteensactivities.org/NewstoryMay2014.php)
In 1973 it became apparent that it was time for me to move on. It was difficult. Though I had a job at a local insurance company, my youth ministry at the Stony Brook coffeehouse was my real mission in life. It took a good friend's heart to heart conversation with me to solidify my conviction that there truly was a new life ahead. I prayed about it and decided to leave it in God's hands - I would take the first affordable apartment anywhere within an hours drive of my place of business.
In May 1973 that "anywhere" became an unknown town in central Long Island, N.Y. by the name of North Babylon. Bordering to its north was the village of Deer Park. To my amazement the very first Sunday I attended the Deer Park Presbyterian Church a church elder announced that he wanted the church to support a new local coffeehouse. God had called me to leave one coffeehouse ministry behind and immediately gave me a new one in my new home. To this day I still marvel at how God calls us to our missions.
For those of you visiting this blog from the Facebook page: Friends of Mattpaul, you have seen the attached video. You will recognize that this call to youth ministry in Deer Park comes after the discussion of the beginning of the Stony Brook Coffeehouse and the thoughts beginning with "Fast forward 32 years".
Please comment on my story and please, please share your own story of faith, hope and/or love.
Merry Christmas means more than parties, presents and bills to pay. It means remembering the past - our past and God's past. Reconnecting with the past empowers us for the future.
I have a challenge ahead to reach out to 15 high school and junior students over a two day retreat in two and a half weeks. We will talk about roadblocks we all face when trying to grow in our faith journey. When I think of Christmas, I think of Bethlehem and that quiet night that suddenly burst into the declaration that peace has come to earth. Pray that I will find a way to effectively communicate this to my students. Any thoughts and ideas are welcome.
We will start with looking at road signs ... the stop sign, the road narrows sign, the one way sign. How do these symbolize the trials we have in our faith journey. And never forget that night in Bethlehem.
We believe that youth can make a difference and that is happening in Deer Park, NY. I am sure it is happening elsewhere. What is so nice is that we really care about our group- emotionally they are extended family. That's why we can laugh and cheer at the same time at the pie eating contest, why we commit our selves to projects like the 30 Hour Famine and why we are learning to pray together, though it is not easy.
How about your group. We'd really like to hear from you.