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Explorations in Just Living

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About this blog

Welcome to the blog of the Enough for Everyone program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). By "just living" we mean both justice-based living and just simply living – freeing ourselves from the clutter of stuff so we can focus on living faithfully and living well. Join us in the exploration!

About the Author
Bryce Wiebe coordinates Enough for Everyone, a ministry of the Presbyterian Hunger Program. He loves slow food and is fascinated by the way things are made.  He is excited to dive into experiments in simplicity with you.  His sacred cow of consumption: kitchen gadgets.

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April 14, 2014

Easter Children's Sermon

An idea for an Easter Children's sermon.

 

 

Text:  John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10 or, you know, any of the Gospel accounts of the women arriving at the empty tomb.

 

Lesson:  God’s love can turn our disappointment into a surprise. 

 

What you will need: 

2 large plastic Easter eggs filled with candy,

1 large plastic Easter egg left empty

Candy to give to each child at the end (optional).

 

Show the Easter eggs to the children.  Ask them what you have.  They will, of course, know right away. 

 

Take one of the filled eggs and shake it, or let one of the children shake it.   Ask what they think is inside.  When they tell you, open the egg to show them.  Then take the second filled egg and repeat the same as with the first egg.  Show them the third egg (the empty egg) and, without shaking it, ask them what is inside this egg as thought it is a simple continuation of the same process.  Open the egg to reveal that it is empty.

 

That wasn’t what we expected to have happen.  When things turn out to be different than we expect, there are two different names that can have, do you know what they are?  What do we call it when something we want to have happen, doesn’t turn out the way we wanted?  A Disappointment.  And what do we call it when something really good happens that we didn’t expect?  A Surprise.  So, if you picked up that third egg and opened it and it was empty, you would probably be pretty disappointed, right?  There wasn’t any candy in it. 

 

Well, our Bible story today is about something that Jesus’s friends expected.  They had had a difficult week following Jesus, and they had seen him be arrested, and then watched him be hurt and beaten and, eventually, they had seen him die.  They were really sad.  This is not what they had expected.  Jesus had done lots of miracles and taught them many lessons and they didn’t think it would be over so soon and not like this.  They were disappointed.  Some of Jesus’s best friends were the women who came on Easter morning to visit the place where he had been buried.  But when they arrived, his body was not there!  I think they were disappointed at that, too.  But, you know what?  They weren’t disappointed for very long.  The place where Jesus had been buried was empty because he was alive!  They got to see him with their own eyes!  What they thought was disappointment, God had turned into a surprise!

 

Sometimes we have disappointments, too.  Sometimes we don’t get the things that we want to have.  But, sometimes there is something better than even the thing we thought we wanted.   Our God can turn disappointments into surprises.  Now if you pick up an Easter egg today that doesn’t have anything in it, remember that Jesus’s friends came to his tomb and found it was empty.  Remember that Jesus is no longer dead, that he is alive and that he is our friend too.  Will you pray with me?

 

Prayer:

Dear God, thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to be our friend.  Thank you for surprising us all on Easter morning, and helping us to see that, even when we are disappointed, you still love us and give us what we need.  Help us remember the lessons that our friend, Jesus taught us; to love one another, to share, to be kind and generous.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

 

Note:  It is my hope that these Children’s moments/sermons will be helpful in our shared work of ministry.  These resources can be adapted in any way that you would like and no attribution is necessary.  If you have ideas for simple Children’s sermons that touch on the principles or approaches of Enough for Everyone, or the Presbyterian Hunger Program, please feel free to share them with me at bryce.wiebe@pcusa.org
 
Have a blessed Easter season and look for more Children's sermon ideas on the topics of food, hunger, and simplicity.
 
-Bryce

April 14, 2014

Dennis Dewey's Nicaragua Reflection

The Rev. Dennis Dewey is a biblical storyteller and pastor of Stone Presbyterian Church in Clinton, New York. His church’s Fair Trade shop sponsored his participation in the January 2014 trip to Nicaragua sponsored by the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Equal Exchange. He offers these reflections on his experience with profound gratitude to his church’s shop and to the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Enough for Everyone, and its Associate, Bryce Wiebe.

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February 10, 2014

2014 Nicaragua Delegation Reflections

During the first week of January, ten Presbyterians from all across the country met in Managua, Nicaragua to learn more about the fair trade and anti-sweat shop initiatives of the church, as well as the broader work of World Mission and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance in Central and Latin America.  The group picked coffee with farmers, visited large, co-operative owned processing facilities, and met groups of women entrepreneurs sewing t-shirts and making crafts to support their families.  Over the course of the week, they learned how fair trade and cooperative principles build community and sustain the lives of our global neighbors ...

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February 10, 2014

Mud

mud. It was the mud.

 

The mud is what I see on first approach to the remote farmhouse that I will be calling home for a couple days and nights. The mud: disgusting. The mud is my fear of what I will encounter. It is my discomfort, my dis-ease, my nightmare—slipping, falling, getting dirty, filthy. No escape. No way around it.

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February 10, 2014

$100 a Cup

A Hundred Dollars A Cup

CJ Clapp, Hunger Action Enabler,Washington Presbytery

 

How much do you think your cup of coffee should cost? I’m talking about really good coffee. Mountain grown, shade grown, organic, fair trade coffee? Before you come up with an amount (which I guarantee will be too low!), let me tell you about some coffee farmers I met last month in Nicaragua.

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