Friday, December 4, 2009

Strange Feeling...

I grew up in a public school system. Coming from this sort of setting I am used to my peers being from different faith backgrounds. Many of my friends from back home have views separate from mine. I have friends who are atheists, family members who are Buddhist, and a very good friend who is Jewish. Their religion, beliefs, and their customs do not change how I think of them in any way. Excluding the few kids in my youth group, all of my friends are Catholic.

Roberts Wesleyan likes to say that they accept people of all faith backgrounds here. However, I have not met many non-Christians that go to this school. During one of the first weeks of school one of my new friends said that they have never met a Jewish person. I was in shock, complete shock. I could not comprehend how she could live in this country, go to a public school, and never meet a Jewish person. I have noticed that many people here are quite open with their faith, others tend to shy away from it. 

I am not used to being around people who are so intense about their faith. In my group of friends I was always considered the "church girl". Although I am strong in my faith, being around the people here makes me feel a little out of place. It isn’t in anyway steering me away from being a Christian. I like to think that this school is strengthening it. However, even though it is towards the end of the first semester it still seems a little strange. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

Christmas is Coming...

Believe it or not, that time of the year is approaching quickly. It is just around the corner, a mere 49 days away. As everyone starts to prepare for Christmas this year I ask you all to remember this one question... What is Christmas? I am asking anyone who is reading this to watch this video before they start making wish-lists and going overboard at the mall.

As much as I would like to pretend that I don't, I know that I fall into that category of "x-mas shop-a-holic" After watching this video I thought back to last year and realized how much of what I bought really didn't mean all that much. The gift that mattered the most was the donation of my time to others. The season of advent is all about giving. But has anyone ever stopped to think about whether or not we are giving the right thing? The people at did. And guess what... most of us are not giving the right thing.

And so the countdown begins... 49 days. Welcome to the season. But just ask yourself... is this the season of spending and shopping? Or is this the season of love and worship?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Not Sure What to Think...

For my First-Year-Seminar class we are asked to write small personal responses to certain topics. I found this one to be “interesting” for lack of a better word. The one thing that really bugs me about this topic is the way it was worded. I feel that many people who attended this school are very “anti- every other religion but theirs.”

The question was: Your new roommates, friends, and even your professors probably do not share your theological background. "How are you responding to those around you who come from different Christian traditions -- or who, in fact, may not be people of faith?" Does this statement mean that everyone who does not have a Christian faith has no faith at all?

I wasn’t sure so I guess I sort of ignored the fact it pissed me off and just wrote this:

I grew up in a public school system. Coming from this sort of setting I am used to my peers being from different faith backgrounds. Many of my friends from back home have views separate from mine. I have friends who are atheists, family members who are Buddhist, and a very good friend who is Jewish. Their religion, beliefs, and their customs do not change how I think of them in any way. Excluding the few kids in my youth group, all of my friends are Catholic.

Roberts Wesleyan likes to say that they accept people of all faith backgrounds here. However, I would love to meet a non-Christian that goes to this school. During one of the first weeks of school one of my new friends said that they have never met a Jewish person. I was in shock, complete shock. I could not comprehend how she could live in this country, go to a public school, and never meet a Jewish person.

I have noticed that many people here are quite open with their faith, others tend to shy away from it. I am not used to being around people who are so intense about their faith. In my group of friends I was always considered the church girl. Although I am strong in my faith, being around the people here, I feel a little out of place. It isn’t in anyway steering me away from being a Christian. In fact, I think it is making my faith even stronger then it was before.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Heart & Soul Service Project

Last Sunday was one of the first service projects that I took part in since being at school. It was a program that is run through the Heart and Soul Church (a church in inner-city Rochester). This program gets a group of people together and delivers bags of groceries to needy families in

homes surrounding the church. Along with giving the family groceries the group also offers word of prayer. Most of these families are not actually members of the church, but sometimes the visits once a month will eventually create a strong bond and these families may start going to the church.

I have never been involved in a service project quite like this before. Although I have compared this project to the Midnight Run on more then one occasion. I felt almost awkward walking up to people’s houses asking

them if they could use some grocerys. I know that they were on a list because they have presented the need, but it still felt odd.

This was the first time I have ever flat out asked a person “is there anything I can pray for you about?” that was a new experience for me. All but one of the five houses we went to said that they were okay and that they did not need any prayers for the day. Even though they said this, I still prayed for them.

I learned something new about myself. I never realized that I was such an observant person. I noticed small details about the house and even the person. None of those houses were in that great of condition yet many of them still had notices up that they had a security system inside. I don’t want to be judgmentally in anyway, but I am not entirely sure if there really was. I also noticed most of the houses had someone in them wearing a work shirt (Wegman’s, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, etc.).

I have not been doing as much work in the community as I thought I would be since I have been at school. Lately I have been tied up with midterms, essays galore, issues with friends (I will probably explain this in another journal entry) and obviously the new adjustment to college life in general. I hope to soon become a part of the service group called “In Jesus’ Name” that frequently goes out into inner-city Rochester to feed the less fortunate.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Letter to my Church

Since I have been at school I have tried to stay in touch with people from back home; including the congregation I have been a part of for the past eighteen years...

Last week sometime my minister from my home church asked me to write a paragraph that talked about how growing up in that church led me towards ministry. She said that it would tie into her sermon really well.

I started writing it in the mind set that I would only be writing a paragraph. It ended up being longer then both her and I expected. When I told her it was about a page she said she may end up just taking bits and pieces and paraphrasing it. I didn't have a problem with this...

About an hour after I emailed to her, I got a call. She said that there was only one thing she had a problem with; she wasn't sure she would be able to read it without crying. She had then told me how she loved it and she was planning on reading it "as is".

"This church has always been my second home. I was always a Sunday school go-er. Even though I wasn’t too thrilled to be dragged to church on Sunday mornings by my mother (in fact, I hated it). Along with this I was also an avid middle school youth group attendee. Although church was not “my thing” yet, I liked being a part of it all. Something changed my freshmen year of high school. This transformation began for me on the first day of confirmation when I began to learn about all the things I never paid attention to in Sunday school (funny how I ended up to be a Sunday school teacher huh?). When I started going to full church services I started to feel a part of the community our church holds.

I have never considered myself confident enough to get up and speak in front of a large group. Well, all of you changed that for me the first time I was liturgist. I thought I was terrible up there, but everyone came up to me afterwards and told me that I did great. Thank you for giving me this confidence. From the first mission trip I took part in to Abbeville Louisiana all the way to the most recent trip to Ecuador, this congregation has stood by me, stood by everyone. You all thanked me, and prayed for me. Thank you for keeping me going. You have entrusted so much in me, to teach you children, to serve you communion, and to serve others with along side you. I feel that all of that trust you gave to me created my most powerful trusts in God. Thank you for everything.

Part of me thought that I shouldn’t go there, that I couldn’t have possibly been called into ministry at such a young age. The following day, I heard this for the first time “I think divinity school my be somewhere in your future.” I smiled, laughed, and sort of shrugged and said something nonchalant like “Haha I’m not sure.” Shortly there after I got more and more questions and statements similar to the first. To be perfectly honest I am not quite sure why I never gave an honest response. It may have been because I am scared of disappointment. Not only in myself, but I was afraid to disappoint all of you.

God has put me on a longer path; I am first majoring in Education, because I feel as I was called to teach. And although I am not taking the direct path to ministry, I know that this congregation is here for me. After all, you are my second family. And if it wasn’t for you, I know I would not be where I am today."

Sunday morning (afternoon) when I woke up:
-Missed call and voicemail from my gramma at 8:24
-Missed call and voicemail from my mom's cell at 11:16
-Missed call and voicemail from home (a.k.a mom) at 12:12

They were very curious why I did not tell them not to go to church, because my grandmother almost didn't. My mom also told me how many people from the congregation that the letter affected. It feels weird not being there to be able to talk to them and to tell them all these things myself, but I am glad my words got to them in another way...

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Got In!!

I am very excited because last week I went to the first mandatory meeting for the mission trip to Mexico in February. Oh how I miss mandatory meetings (not really). This Wednesday will be the second meeting where the participants, all nine of us, will be bringing a letter that we wrote to send to family members and friends. In these letters we will be asking for money, some like to refer to them as donations to make it sound better. I am going to try to send a copy of this letter to my home church to see if anyone from my congregation would like to donate anything. I say this, but at the same time I feel weird asking because that congregation has supported me so much in the past and I feel strange asking for their support for a non-"that church" sponsored trip (if that made sense to anyone).

Anyways... I also put up a small decorated box (that is very pretty) in the kitchen on my floor. There are 22 girls that live on my floor so that kitchen gets quite a few people going in and out of it often. They all seem to be excited for me and were up for donating their daily spare change to the cause. I appreciate all of the donations I have gotten from them so far. And hopefully the donations I haven't gotten yet...haha. Every penny counts :)

Oh yeah... I almost forgot.
(please read in a cute baby voice)
Mommy... I love you, I am going to Mexico. Call me after you read this :)

The Next Many Years of my Life...

My mom finds it amusing how much of my life I have planned out. It isn’t that I have my life planned out year-by-year or anything; it is more of multiple years grouped together. After, graduation I plan on joined the Peace Corps (click here to read more!). Once my 27-month life changing experience is over I will hopefully begin my teaching career. A goal in my life is to someday teach back at my high school. However, I would enjoy starting out teaching somewhere down south. I have visited the south numerous times and that is somewhere I could definitely see myself living. If you know me well, you clearly know why I am saying this. And many people have expressed to me that it isn’t very difficult to get a teaching job down south with a New York state education.

Eventually…I am going to seminary. I was called into ministry, but I know He has other things in planned for my life before I get to that point. I want to go to Yale Seminary in New Haven, Connecticut. When I become a minister I would love to find a church near my hometown.

I realize that these are kind of different and spread out goals but this will basically be my life. Obviously, there is much wiggle room for certain things. You know, things like marriage, children, and the whole starting a family thing. But I do truly want to raise my children close to the area I was raised.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Viva el Mexico

My school offers awesome mission trip opportunities. Hopefully I will be able to take advantage of this and become a part of one of the many students setting off this year to various locations. Some of these places include, Ireland, New Orleans, Rochester, El Savidor, and Mexico. I want to embark on the missions trip to Mexico. I feel as if this trip would be best for my skills and influence me the greatest ways.

I added this to my application when I was asked if I had participated in church activities before. I hope it wasn't over kill:

My home church is the First Congregational Church of Branford Connecticut. I was involved with almost every program that was offered. I was (up until I left for school) a deacon since a got confirmed my freshmen year. And I have been teaching Sunday school to the 1st graders for the past 4 years. I volunteered in the church office on a regular basis and I was often the liturgist on Sunday mornings. For longer then I can remember I have been going to my church’s VBS and once I got into high school I became a counselor. Last year I become the group leader of the 2nd graders, and I plan on doing this again next summer.

Each summer my church youth group embarks on a mission’s trip. The past four years I have traveled to Abbeville Louisiana twice, to Harlan Kentucky, and to Portland Maine. All of these mission trips were construction-based trips. In Maine last year, my best friend and I led the construction crew. This up coming summer the trip is going to be to New Orleans, Louisiana. I am on the small list of returning graduates who are planning on going on that trip and I can’t wait.

There is another missions trip that my church is involved in, along with a few other churches in Connecticut and Massachusetts. This mission’s trip is an abroad trip to Guaquyule Ecuador. This summer will be the 12th trip and will be my 4th time participating. Like the youth group mission trip, this is a construction-based missions. However, this is a different kind of construction in a much different environment. We work long hours in sometimes harsh tempters and the work can be very strenuous. Moving hundreds of cinder blocks and mixing tons of cement is not an easy task. I am sure the work I have done in Ecuador will easily relate to the work being done in Mexico. Although this mission’s trip is about building homes, it is aloes about building relations. We work along side the Ecuadorians and build a bond with each other that I am sure is stronger then the walls we build. Spreading Gods love, one cinder block at a time.

Future Travels!

I have wanted to go into the Peace Corps for longer then I can remember. I originally wanted to go before college, but I decided that wouldn’t be ideal. My best friend told me that she feels she was also called to the Peace Corps. We share the same dream of being sent somewhere in Africa together. But at the same time we realize we will be sent to the area that needs our individual skills the most.

When I was younger all my friends ever would talk about is how they wanted to go to Europe. They wanted to go shopping in Paris and see the Eiffel Tower. I always felt left out because I had never had the urge to travel there. Of course, it would lovely to travel there someday. However, it is and has always been my dream to go to Australia. One of the many things I was looking for when applying to schools was a good study abroad program. I am glad that I found that here at Roberts Wesleyan College.

Hopefully I will be able to study abroad to Australia next year. That is something I have always wanted to do. I feel that I will be able to learn and study a lot there. I believe that it will help my growth not only academically, but also spiritually.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lying- because God told us not to...

Is it okay to lie? Philosophers have different views about this. Some, like Immanuel Kant, believe that it is intrinsically wrong to lie. Others, like John Stuart Mill, believe that lying can be justified by the good consequences it could bring.

According to deontological ethics (Kant), lying would violate a duty we uphold by being human. To be morally correct and truthful to oneself and others. The "duty" is to consider the facts. Looking at the consequences that it may bring is not an option. Even if the lie we tell could harm someone, it would be morally incorrect not to.

Now, utilitarianism (Mill), is the opposite. This ethical view wants the consequences to be throughly thought about. If something grand is going to occur, then the lie may be worth something. When I say grand, I don't mean for the person who is telling the lie. I am not saying go ahead and lie your way around and and up getting a pony. What this means is that the lie is justifiable if it can alter or impact (or save) a persons life in a positive way.

Never lying, or only lying to save a person from death would be a difficult task for many. Little lies are told daily. Is teaching your child to believe in Santa Clause a lie? What about the Easter Bunny? Tooth Fairy? "Does this dress make me look fat...?" What would you say?

So...Who is right? As a Christian, I should know wrong from right. But do I? I have heard many stories where someone does an unmoral act because God told them to do so. Would they have done this unmoral act otherwise? Who knows.

THINKING God told us to do something doesn't ALWAYS justify doing it...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Internet& Ethics...

Last week sometime the assignment in my Phil& Ethics class was to listen to a podcast on NRP. This specific podcast was about a high school administrator looking through facebook and stumbling across some picture of his students (athletes) at a party. The athletes had signed an agreement that if they were to be caught at a party were there was drinking then there would be serious consequences.

After listening to the podcast we were to write a response giving our own moral and ethical views on the topic of internet privacy. To explain what we thought the administration should have done. And to talk about whether or not there was something ethically wrong about schools looking on facebook.

These are my thoughts...

Facebook is not only for high school students. It was originally created for college students, as a way to stay in touch with their friends from back home. It slowly began expanding into high schools and even into middle schools. Now, just as many adults have facebooks as students do. Anyone can choose to have a profile and ask to become friends with who ever they would like to. Also, anyone has the ability to deny a friend request or even completely block a user. A student could put their profile on private so only friends can see it.

Unfortunately, sometimes things get seen by the wrong people. I have the perfect example of this. I have hosted over a dozen parties at my house. None of these parties had any alcohol or drugs at them; I would never be able to do that to my mother. My Halloween party that I had my junior year got a little crazy. There were about twenty to thirty of my friends there. We were all in costumes, so more then the normal amounts of pictures were taken. Like me, all of my friends are loud, and obnoxious, and somehow this always shows in pictures. One of the teachers at my school got a hold of these pictures by using her daughter’s facebook. This teacher assumed that there was alcohol at my house so she was going to report all of the kids in the pictures to administration. It all got sorted out soon after that and everything turned out fine.

I don’t think that it was right for the administration to suspend the athletes for being at a party just based on pictures. Just like what happened with my party, no one really knows what is going on unless the person was there to witness it. Even though there was drinking going on at this party there was no evidence that they were drinking.

With facebook becoming larger and larger, I wish that students would understand that nothing is really private. There are ways to hide things, but not everything. I am friends with my boss, my minister, and with many of my high school teachers on facebook. I know that they can see anything that I post, because of this I am conscientious of what I put online.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Perceptions and exceptions...

To be perfectly honest, my perceptions of college were crazy frat parties and staying up all night drinking. But those weren’t at all my perceptions of the school I knew I was going to. Coming here I knew I wouldn’t be getting the typical college experience that I thought I would be. Or the college experiences all my friends from home are telling me stories about already. I knew that I was coming to a school where I would be surrounded by people who can inspire others, and who can be inspired by the Lord.

College is going to be hard. Especially for someone like me, who procrastinates more then she gets her work done early. Someone who watched ten out of the thirteen-hour marathon of NCIS today (I had three hours of class). However, so far, I think I am doing pretty well. I love all of my classes and I am having fun with the assignments. I enjoy reading and writing about my faith and the journey I am embarking on.

I love my friends, and I truly miss them. I will never be able to have the type a relationships I have with my friends from home with anyone from this school. I realized that before I decided to come to this school. But I can say this much, I wasn’t expecting to be able to become so close with so many of the girls on my floor as fast as I did. Actually, I wasn’t expecting it at all. I didn’t think they would like or be able to handle my sarcasm, but trust me, they through it right back at me. I was also I little afraid that I would be far too eccentric for anyone who wasn’t used to me to be able to handle. I was wrong there too. I wont go as far as saying they are crazier then I am, but I will say they are darn close.


I wrote a devotional today. For those who aren't aware, a devotional can be considered a really really mini sermon. Taking a verse or two from the Bible, and relating it to everyday life. I used one of my favorite verses...

For my First Year Sem class, each student has to give a devotional at least once. I volunteered to go first in my class. It was either because I was really excited to write it, or because I wanted to get it over with. I am still not sure...

I chose Galatians 5:14 because of how many "neighbors" we as college students now have...

It reads, “The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself”

We all come from different sized families, some from a family of 11, some from a family of 2. But we are all new to the college experience. Some of us are getting to knowing what its like to live, and share a room with another person for the first time. We are all getting used to this person and hopefully all getting a long. And the thing is, that it’s not just that one person we are getting used to, but a whole group of people, those people that live on your floor and down the hall. They are you neighbors. And they might, if they haven’t already, become like your family. Putting a large group of people together can sometimes end poorly. The chance of everyone liking everyone is slim. What this passage teaches me is to be kind and courteous to all and to show them the love and respect of hope to get in return.

Love your neighbor as yourself… Or my translation…love your floor mates as yourself…

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My First Thoughts...

First year seminar is one of the GED courses that freshmen are required to take at my school. Our first assignment was to write a journal entry that described our best experience at school so far. I didn't have an experience that triumphed over others, so I wrote about the most recent moment that truly meant something to me.

I don’t have an outstanding best moment here at school, at least not yet. There are a few smaller things that do come to my mind. One of them occurred just a few hours ago. The girls on my floor noticed that I dyed my hair yesterday. They most likely noticed this because I made the entire hallway smell like a chem. lab. Needing a quick trip to Wal-Mart I asked two of my floor mates to come along for the ride. While we were there they bought hair dye, and asked me if I would dye their hair for them. I was pleased to hear them ask that because it not only made me feel needed, but wanted. And up until that point I didn’t feel like I was fitting in. On our drive back to school, acting completely like my normal self, one of the two girls said to me “Megan, you are the coolest person I know. You are just so crazy all the time. I love it.” No one has really said that to me before. I know I am who I am, and I would always be myself. Even if someone were to come along and tell me the complete opposite than this girl did. But it just truly feels nice to get a complement like that. That is why I came to a Christian school.

In the reader (our class book) it tells me that this is the time for me to go out and meet the world. I am not to carry God around like a “security blanket”, to only drag around when I need it. God is with me all the time. He led me on my journey to college, and he will stay by my side no matter what I am going through. Even though I have hair dying parties instead of working on homework assignments and readings, I am still walking humbly with my God.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Lesson in Lying.

An assignment we had this week was to listen to a NPR podcast about lying to a dementia pacient. The question was being asked about whether or not it was ethically wrong to lie. In this certain case the lie would calm the patient down. On the other hand, the truth would cause him to freak out and cause harm to not only himself but also the workers tying to strain him.

My professor asked the class what we thought, whether it unethical to lie to the patient. And to write about lies that we have told that we thought were ethical. Here is what I said...

From a young age children are taught that it is wrong to lie. Certain things in life come with exceptions; lying is one of those things. I believe in what Randy Cohen has said, that how when the lie benefits the other person then it can be justified. I have never lied to a person with Alzheimer’s, but I have lied to my Mother and Grandmother on several occasions. Both of who are strong and healthy women. In a way, one could say that I am their greatest weakness. I say this because I know that I make them worry. I have had my drivers’ license for two years now but my grandmother is still scared to death anytime she knows I am behind the wheel. To ad to her stress I just recently got my motorcycle license. Whenever I am talking to her and she knows I am heading out to go somewhere she always asks weather I am taking my bike or my car. As far as she knows, I have yet to ride my motorcycle. I frequently lie to my grandmother when I am leaving town for the weekend with my friends. I find no need for her to know where I am if it doesn’t concern her, and there is absolutely no need to worry her more. A more recent example of a lie I have told was when I was talking on the phone with my mother today. She helped me move in and I had lofted my bed (really high). I could tell she was concerned about the bed falling, or me falling off the bed. My mother called this afternoon to check on how my second day of classes went. I decided that this would be the perfect time to tell her that she was right, I didn’t like my bed lofted, and that I had lowered it. Well, no, actually, I didn’t lower it. My bed is still extremely high off the ground but there was absolutely no reason for my mother to worry. To me, these lies are justifiable considering the fact that I am relieving the stress of worrying to my family. An unjustifiable lie would be anything that benefits the person that is doing the lying. I have told many lies in my childhood, and now, that are unjustifiable. That doesn’t mean that I wont teach my future children not to lie. All this means that everyone eventually learns that sometimes, you have to.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

So I Thought That Summer Reading Assignments Ended With High School....

I was wrong! Has anyone read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis? If so... let me know what you thought. I read it this summer (because I had to) while I was on a mission trip in Ecuador. I am not sure if it was because I had nothing better to do, but I really enjoyed reading it.

This is what I thought. At least, these are the answers to the questions my school asked me.

What does the “mere” in Mere Christianity mean? What does Lewis mean when he says we live in the rooms, not the hallways?

The word “mere” has many different definitions. The way that I interpreted it was as “pure”. I believe that is how C.S. Lewis wanted his readers to interpret it as well. Christianity is pure, genuine and real. And I think that is what Lewis wanted us to get out of his book. It could also be said that the “mere” in Mere Christianity could mean absolute. Lewis said, “We live in rooms, not hallways”, what he meant by this was that the hallways are the places in our lives that lead us home. The rooms are where we live and where we found Jesus Christ. We live with Jesus.

Lewis is writing an apologia (or a defense- apologetics is a defense of the faith). How does this apologia compare to others you may have read, or other apologist you have heard in a lecture, sermon, or Christian radio program?

C.S. Lewis’s way of writing is nothing like what I am used to reading. This has been one of the first books I have ever read that truly altered my views so drastically. I believe a reason for this is where I decided to read the book. For the past three years, I have been traveling to Ecuador with my church for 2 weeks of the summer. Each summer I bring a book or two with me so I have a place to escape to after a long days work of building houses and using my broken Spanish to ask for water. This summer my book of choice (assignment) was obviously Mere Christianity. Reading it in the barrio of Guasmo Sur gave me a greater sense of the book then it would have anywhere else. I took what Lewis was saying and put it into the lives of the people I was living with in Ecuador. I realize that I didn’t exactly answer the question the way I was asked to, but because that was the first apologia I can remember experiencing, I guess that is the best I can do.

What is the law of human nature and how does it point to theism?

The law of human nature is determining right from wrong, or wrong from right. However, in order to do that a person must know what wrong is so they can do right, or the person must know what right is to do wrong. What isn’t asked is this, who is there to tell the person that right is right and wrong is wrong? This points to theism because nothing is ever set in stone. A person needs to be able to have his or her own opinions, believes, and thoughts. And also be able to understand what is being taught to them.

Its been argued that you can’t prove anything and certainly the very nature of faith is that we trust in something that is “hoped for,” not for something that is a “sure thing” so what is the benefit of reading a book like this? How can it help us in our Christian walk?

One thing that really stood out to me in this book was that C.S. Lewis was once an atheist. Lewis, among with many others, couldn’t wrap around the fact that there are no facts. Luckily, there is a point in most persons lives that they are almost forced to believe. Something will come along and almost alter their way of life. This book has showed me a new way to view faith. And I truly hope it will do the same for my friends that it has done for me. After reading this I recommending it to a few of my friends who are all on the journey of finding their faith. One is an atheist, one a Buddhist, and one a Christian who is trying to become closer to God. I am not in anyway trying to control them; I am just doing all I can to help them find their way. This book can do that.

Name two theological concepts that you understand better having read this book. Explain the new understanding.

There was a chapter in the book titled “Making and Begetting”. I found this chapter extremely interesting. It talked about the differences between making and begetting. I learned that parents beget their children, but God didn’t beget us he made us. God created us in his image. Another concept is fighting temptation. Those who are good are good because they realize what bad is. However, those who are bad hardly know anything about what bad is.

How are Christianity, Judaism, and Islam similar? How are they different than pantheism? Can you think of any movies that espouse a pantheistic worldview?

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all similar because the all share a same main exponent within there believes: God. They believe that God created the Universe. And in turn, created everything in it. However, the pantheistic worldview is that God did not create the Universe; it is that the Universe is God.

Why does Lewis think it is silly to call Jesus a great human teacher?

C.S. Lewis doesn’t see Jesus as a great moral teacher. Lewis believes that it is a silly thing to call him. The author was right. I believe that those who refer to him as “a great moral teacher” should realize that Jesus is so much more. He is our savior. He came to bring back to us what we had lost and forgotten. Sure, he was a great moral teacher, but he wasn’t the only one. There always has been, and always will be one Jesus Christ.

C.S. Lewis talks about morality, but he had a different piety than many of us. He enjoyed “having a pint” in his favorite pub, smoking a pipe with his friends, and he’s not averse to using bits of coarse language to make his point. How does his piety compare with yours and what can these differences teach us about Christian faith?

First off, I do not think that C.S. Lewis was a pious man at all. I believe he was a wise and thoughtful man who found God and decided to help others to do the same. Just because a person a person drinks, smokes, or uses profane language doesn’t make them worse of a person then someone who doesn’t. They can equally share the same qualities, beliefs and virtues as the non-drinker, the non-smoker, and the non- “coarse language” user. And as far as Lewis’s differences and mine go, I am not sure that we have many. While I was reading this book I continued getting more and more into what he was saying and everything just seemed to click. I agreed with most, almost all of what he wrote. I believe that we share similar qualities and I know that I have an equally foul mouth. This shows me that you don’t need to be perfect to be a Christian because, well, no one is perfect. I know that I am not the person that this school wants me to be. But I am well one the way to being the person God has intended me to be.

This school, from the beginning, has opened its doors to students from all faith backgrounds. If you are one of those persons, how does this assignment relate to your own perspective?

I am Christian. I would love to meet someone from this school who isn’t because I think they are going to have a hard time with it. I know I have only been here for I very short time so far but I am already getting the vibe that this is going to be intense. And that, in a way, is what I am looking for. However, I am positive that if I were a non-Christian I wouldn’t come anywhere near a school like this.

EBQ#1 is a code with some of us at Roberts Wesleyan for the question: “So What?” Ask the question about your experience reading Lewis’s book. How does Lewis speak… to you personally… to your attitudes toward…to your attitudes towards education?

I feel as if C.S. Lewis wrote that book for me. He answered many of the questions that have been buried inside me for so long that I think I even forgot that I wanted to know the answers. I am aware that his book is very opinionated, but so am I. That may be why I enjoyed reading this book. The way he spoke in his writing made it simple for me to understand and it truly sunk in. This book opened a few doors for me and got me ready for what is just under the corner. Not only college, life in general. I cannot wait to continue my readings and studies about not only Christianity, all the world religions.

The immediate relevance of this book (to your major, intended profession, interests, etc.) may not readily apparent. This semester’s book, written by a literature professor, is about theology and you may be a pre-engineering major. Why should this book matter to “the rest of us?” What does this assignment tell you about liberal arts?

I am grateful that this book was chosen for this year’s summer assignment because it does relate to me. Not necessarily directly to my major, but to my future. My faith is important to me, that is why I am at this school. I am eventually going into ministry. It may take a while for me to get there but I am going to take my time. This book should matter to “the rest of us” because it is a book that it there to help people to find their own worldview. And no matter what, Christian or non-Christian, everyone has their own personal worldview.

I handed this assignment in 15 days early...

Starting back up & saying good-bye

I recently remembered that I had this blog. Because I will be doing a lot of writing, searching, and praying during my freshmen year of college I decided that this would be a lovely place to put it all (at least the writings of a religious aspect).

I suppose I will start with this.
You would think that it would be hard on an 18 year old girl to say good-bye to her family, and it was. I am almost 400 miles away from my home, and in a way, it doesn't feel real yet. It almost feels like a vacation with homework and textbooks. I thought that the hardest thing for me to say goodbye to would be all of my friends. And believe me, it wasn't easy, there were laughs and tears. And girls... if you are reading this you know how much I love you.

All I know is that saying good-bye to my church was not supposed to be as hard as it was. Because the Lord follows you wherever you go... right? But there is always going to be something special about that place for me. And it's not just the place, it is about who is in it. The families in that church have been next to me from the start and they have watched me grow (physically & spiritually). To make a long story short; leaving my church family brought more tears to my eyes then to everything else combined. I am going to be going "church-hunting" for the next few sundays...

But nothing will ever compare. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Take a Vet Fishing...

Our church has a new program that is rapidly growing. It is the Veterans Outreach program. It is also known as the "Take a Vet Fishing" project. This program brings Veterans who are blind or struggling with PTS to Killiams point or other water front locations to fish with them for the day.

The leaders of this program go out of their way to make sure that these Vets have the best of times. They also go out of their ways because they are the ones picking them off and dropping them off at the VA in West Haven.

Because this is a growing program the money that is needed is a significant sum. We have been having many fundraisers like a car wash and a pasta dinner. The program is hoping to get a few grants and many donations for this upcoming season.

Mission Trip to Harlan Kentucky

In 2007, the church youth mission trip was to Abbyvillie Louisiana again. We work on some of the same sites and got to spend time with the same people. It was I great experience and I cant wait to go back.

Last summer, the summer of 2008, we went to Harlan Kentucky and worked with the people from C.O.A.P. This was a completely different experience. I got to meet and talk to some locals, I learned a lot about the way they live and how different to culture is.

Some of the work was the same, but at the same time it was different. I got to show off my skills on the roof. The work site I was on re-shingled a roof in 4 days. Because of this we also got to go help out on a different work site to finish building the structure of a house.

Fall of 2008

Every year, sometime in the fall, there is one sunday that is completely dedicated to Ecuador in our church. The sermon is written about the mission trip. The prayers are given in honor of those who we help. And multiple of the participants who go down to Ecuador to build take part in this service.

This past fall, instead of Gary, the senior minister, giving the sermon like he usually would. He had four of the participants give the sermon. We each had a different part to write and talk about and each thing fit us in its own special way and we were all able to put together a great service.

Abby(Gary's younger daughter) talked about the overall trip, how it got started and what it means to her and everyone who is a part of it.

Chris(who spent his entire summer teaching in Ecuador) talked about the education and tutoring program and why it is so important that we do as much as we can for these kids.

Vanessa(studying to become a minister) talked about social justice and the effects that going on this trip for the first time in years had impacted her.

Megan(Me) talked about family, and what she thought that family meant in Ecuador and how it was different then here.

This was my portion of the sermon...

Galatians 5:14

“The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself””

When you hear the word neighbor…what is the first thing that comes into your mind? Is it oh yeah, my neighbor I met him that one time. I went out to get the mail and he was mowing the lawn. Or is it more like… My neighbor?? Don’t even get me started about him, I can’t stand him, he always lets his dog run across my beautiful cut lawn. Or from the teenagers’ point of view, I hate my neighbor! She always calls the cops on me…well I guess my music was a little too loud.

Well … when someone in guasmo hears the word neighbor (or should I say…) a few things will come to their minds. No…not what’s his name again, or thanks for the sugar. But they think of love, compassion, hospitality, friendship, and of course…family.

That’s what the people in this project are to each other…a family. Sure, they aren’t all related, but they may as well be. Because that is how they treat each other. Not as neighbors like we would consider it. But as a caring community

We are so used to living in a community where we hardly no one another. So coming from a place where you could be walking down your street and no one even looks at you to the way they are in guasmo…was really a great thing to experience. Every person that they passed by on the street knew them and would greet them with a “hello…how are you” well, I mean “holacomo estas?” Even if they didn’t know me, I would get greeted too. Each day… they would smile and say hello.

Family is by far my favorite part of this trip, and not only the family that I lived with, but also all the families as a whole. They are all so different but they all show the same great love towards one another… and towards all the participants.

I love going on this trip because how welcome my family, and all of the familys make me feel. From the moment I stepped off the plane last year, my first year, to this very second. I feel like I am a part of that Ecuadorian family… and it is the best feeling ever.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

October 26th, 2008

At this time, may I call your attention to those listed on page 4 in the bulletin, please keep there names, and there families, in your prayers throughout the week.

Now let us remember the prayers we hold in our hearts….

Dear God, in times like these we often forget to show how much we love one another, and our love for you. We look for the easiest way out, and even if it may hurt someone else to get there, we often take this path

Lord, this is not who we are, so we ask of you to please stay with us we try to overcome our countries current crisis. We need you here to remind us that even though the election is around the corner that we must always be honest with ourselves, with others, and with you, oh lord.

We ask for your forgiveness for we have not forgotten how to love. But I am sure it must seem that way. Please help us through this great time of need, and stay with those who need you most. We know we have wronged, and we ask you to make us right.

We thank you for being hear with us today, we feel your presence and we know that you are among us. God, we thank you for you’re giving us your overwhelming love and teaching us how to love one another. Thank you for you grace, for your forgiveness, and for you patients.

With the college search hanging over the heads of almost all high school seniors, we truly do wish our parents had a little bit more of your patients. However, we know they understand because they have been there before, and we know they just want what’s best for us.

Help us to remember those in need, on this morning, those around the world, and those in our own neighborhoods. For sometimes Lord, we forget that there are many people in our own community, even in our church family that needs our prayers.

Let us at this time remember all of those serving our country over seas right now, and those who have served our country in war, the Veterans, for they have greatly helped our country get to where we are today. Have them feel a sense of peace and connection with you.

We ask all these things and so many more in the name of Jesus Christ, our risen savior, who taught us to pray…

Summer of 2008

Last summer Theresa, the youth minister, and I were talking. She brought up the question of how she should tell the congregation about out very sucessful mission trip to Kentucky and how to introduce the fact that we will be going to Maine this summer. I told her that I thought it would be nice if insted of her giving the sermen, if she had 4 or 5 youth memebers speak about what the mission trips meant to them, and then she could show the slide show that was genously made by one of the kids on the trip.

Well, I guess she liked that idea.. this was what I wrote and read...

This year was my third year going on these mission trips. I knew from the start that once I went the first year, I wouldn’t be able to stop. Each year when I got home, I would always get ask the same question from family, friends, and the congregation. “How was the trip?” and I always give a short answer back, like it was so much fun or it was great. I have never gotten the time to really tell anyone how the trip was. Until now.

There were a few things that changed this year on the Kentucky trip that made it much different from the Louisiana trip. First off, we drove, 16 hours, and about 12 hours in, everyone lost cell phone service, and it stayed that way. Because no home had that immediate connection back home, we all got to get closer on this trip

I was lucky enough last year to help with the planning of the trip. But when it was time to get to the workgroups I had to look the other way. Because Theresa knew exactly where I wanted to be. Each year we have 4 or 5 smaller workgroups with around 15 people on each site. We have done various things like redoing a bathroom in Louisianan, demolishing a house, putting in installation, and there is always painting to do. But there was one site that we had each year that I never got to be a part of. And Theresa told me I never would because of how easily and how often I get injured, but this year I got up there. I was on a roofing site.

The top of that roof was hot, really hot. On one of the days it was over 130 degrees. And I’m not exaggerating. We checked, we brought up one of those huge outdoor thermometers to the top of the roof and 5 minutes later realized that we broke it. The max temp. was 130, and it was starting to go back around again.

Our workgroup got that roof re-shingled in time to go help another one of the worksites. They were putting up the frame for a new house. By the time we got there they were finishing up the walls and getting to the roof, so I got on two roofs this year. And Thresa told me I would never even get on one.

Easter Prayer 2008

The Easter Service is always a very special service for our church because it is held at the ever so beautiful Killiams Point property that is owned by our church. This service was the first time I got to be liturgist for one of our ministers, Vance.

Dear God,

Thank you so much for being with us as we celebrate this day, the re- birth and resurrection of your son, Jesus Christ.

For we are grateful for his presence, for today was the day he rose from the dead to save us from our sins.

We thank you dear lord for the gift of your son, Jesus Christ. For today is a day of great remembrance, the remembrance of why you gave us this gift, to save us.

You have eternally blessed us, so please be with us while we do our best to pass on your blessings to others. And may those blessings begin right now, to all those with us this morning, to all those who could not be here, those named and unnamed. Those known to all, and to those only known in our hearts.

This morning as we sit and worship at such a beautiful wondrous place much like the Sea of Galilee, may we keep in our prayers all of those who do not have such place for worship.

May we remember those who will be without family and friends on this Easter morning, to all those who will be missing them. And to those who have had a great loss and will be spending this Easter without their loved one for the first time. Stay with them Lord, keep them strong…

Let us not only pray for individuals, but communities as wholes, countries as wholes. God, please be with all towns and cities in the world struggling to get by, the homeless and sick, the starving children…and the parents doing all the can to give them the love and care they need survive.

Finally oh lord, we pray for the earth, for this is a place like no other, a place that can be full of love and compassion. A place with beautiful lakes, rivers, oceans, gardens, forests, and people. Thank you dear God, for without you, we would be without all of this.

We ask all these things and so many more in the name of Jesus Christ, our risen savior, who taught us to pray…

Our Father, who art in heaven,hallowed be thy name.Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heavenGive us this day our daily bread.And forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. for ever and ever. Amen

Prayer of Dedication

We are here today to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savoir. Three days ago he died on the cross to save us from our sins, we mourned as he got carried to the tomb. However, today is our day to rejoice. We promised we would follow you, we promised we would serve you, and that we will.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

March 30th 2008

This morning let us take time to pray for those in our church family who have asked for our prayers, you may find these names on page 5 in your bulletin. Let us especially remember the family of Rev Caulfluid. Let us now take time in silence to remember the prayers we hold in our hearts.

Let us continue on with prayer...

Dear Lord,

Please forgive us for we have sinned we need you help throughout this day as we ask for your forgiveness. We know we have wronged, and we ask you to make us right.

We thank you for being hear with us today, we feel your presence and we know that you are among us. God, we thank you for your forgiveness and teaching us how to forgive

May we remember those who will be without family and friends on this morning, to all those who will be missing them. And to those who have had a great loss in the family. They need you now Lord, more then ever, please stay with them, keep them strong.

Help us to remember those in need, those around the world, and those in our own backyards. For sometimes Lord, we forget that there are many people in our own community, even in our church community that needs our prayers.

God, please be with all towns and cities all over the world struggling to get by, the homeless and sick, the starving children…and the parents doing all the can to give them the love and care they need survive. They need us Lord.

Let us at this time remember all those who have served our country in war, the Vetrens, for they have greatly helped our country get to where we are today. Have them feel a sense of peace and connection to you.

We ask all these things and so many more in the name of Jesus Christ, our risen savior, who taught us to pray…

Our Father, who art in heaven,hallowed be thy name.Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heavenGive us this day our daily bread.And forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. for ever and ever. Amen

Friday, January 16, 2009

Chirstmas Prayar 2007

God, thank you for giving us your son. May you be with us as we celebrate his birth.

Thank you lord for blessing us as we remember those who are less fortunate, who will remain in our prayers on this Christmas Eve.

Thank you for giving us the Christmas tree that reminds us of the trinity.

And for showing us your everlasting love through the never-ending wreath.

Also for the angels who announced the birth of your son.

We thank you lord for giving us a clear night tonight so we can all leave here looking up at the stars in the sky and into heaven to remind us of the night our savior was born

And for blessing the stable in which Jesus was born because it reminds us that he was born not only for the rich, but also for the poor.

Lord, we also thank you for Staint Nicholas who gave gifts to the poor each year.

Please be with us tomorrow morning. And stay with us upon opening up our gifts and presents that Santa left us. To help us to remember the birth of your son. Our savior Jesus Christ, the true meaning of the day…

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Midnight Run.

Ten kids, 6 adults, 5 vans, tons of clothes, blankets and food, all on there way to N.Y.C. in the middle of the night. This may sound weird to some, but to others, it sounds like the midnight run.

This "midnight run" is not a run as most would first assume. It is a one night trip to New York City where volunteers hand out donated used clothes (still in good condition) to those living on the streets. We pack the vans tight with shirts and sweatshirts, jeans and dress pants, suits, socks, heavy jackets, multiple varieties of packed lunches, blankets, and toiletry items such as: soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

The program has a leader stationed in NYC who comes with us on all of the runs. We have certain designated stops we go to where we pass out the donated articles.

Our church begins the collection about a month or so before the trip, we ask for any old clothes. And all new soaps and other toiletry items. The week of the trip we all take a shift and sort threw all of the clothes by what they are and by there size. On the day of the trip all the volunteers meet at the church 3 hours before we leave. The group puts all the clothes into bins and pack them into the vans. We also spend a lot of this time putting together all of the care packages and making all of the sandwiches.

Once we are ready to leave the church it is about 8 o' clock or 9 and it is about 11 by the time we get there. And by the time we are finished it is 4A.M. When we get back to the church it is about 6 in the morning and everyone is ready for bed. But everyone also knows how worth it it was to lose that night of sleep.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saying No...?

My church has been running summer camps for many years. Most of the camps are bible study camps also know as VBS (vacation bible school). All of these summer camps are held at Killiams Point. When I was younger I would go to these week long day camps and had a lot of fun at them. One of my clearest memory's was swimming across the bay and going to a little island. We did this as a large group with all of our consulars. The consulars were mainly devoted teenagers (who wanted community service hours) and the loving parents (excluding Bing Miller) who did all that they could to make sure that the young campers had a fun week.

However, there was another camp that was not part of VBS that has been run by our church. I had nothing to do with this camp; aside from baking hundreds of cookies with my mother for the campers. This camp is call Camp Totukett. It is a day camp that runs one week every summer for inner city children with AIDS in their families.

My freshmen year I was asked by my youth minister (Theresa Borchetta) to be a mentor for a camper at this camp. I can't exactly re-call why I said no. It may have been because I was away that week, or because I had a previous commitment. All I can remember is that I said no... and that I continued to say no for the next two years.

This past summer, something changed my mind. I skipped out on a potentially very fun trip to Lake George and became a part of this day camp. I had never gone to a meeting, and I had never met a current camper. I was paired up with a timid young girl who clung to me like glue.

After the camp was over, I regretted not doing it for the past three years. I was a great experience and I wish I never said no.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My First Mission Trip...

For as long as I can remember, my church has been going on work labor mission trips (like habitat for humanity). I have been waiting until it would finally be my turn to go. In years past the group had been going to West Virginia to build a house.

My first trip was in June of 2006, the summer after hurricane Katrina and Rita took place. Because of the natural disaster that had put the whole country into turmoil, our church youth mission group decided to make the change and go to Louisiana where we knew that our work was greatly needed.

Abbeyvillie Louisiana was the destination of our trip. A couple hours on an airplane and a four hour drive later, we were there. All sixty of us hammer ready workers, ranging in age from 8 to 58.

We got broken up into about 5 different work groups and by the time the trip was over we worked on 6 work sites. Some of which included, but not limited to:

-painting walls
-putting up porches
-painting porches
-demolishing a bathroom
-power washing a muddy house
-putting up a new bathroom
-painting the new bathroom
-trying to talk in southern accents
-painting the power washed house

And much much more.

These work groups weren't decided by just a flip of the coin. We were all asked to fill out an evaluation sheet many months before in which we were asked to label our construction skills from 1 to 5. One being never done it before, to absolutely horrific at it. Five being, do it everyday, and are amazingly awesome at it...basically pro. I along with my friends took this somewhat seriously and put what we honestly thought we were. We also thought we could "beat the system" by putting all the same numbers for each category to end up on the same work sites... it worked.

My evaluation sheet looked something like this:

painting: 1 2 3 4 5
spackling:1 2 3 4 5
roofing:1 2 3 4 5
using a saw:1 2 3 4 5
using a hammer:1 2 3 4 5
using power tools:1 2 3 4 5
basic construction skills:1 2 3 4 5

Lucky for me, I wasn't stuck with the painting like a was expecting to be. I got to insulate a trailer and re-do the bathroom. However, it was a close call and I learned not to really put a 5 for painting.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Becoming A Deacon...

The March before my confirmation I was approached by a women that I recognized from the church community, but who I didn't know. She told me her name, she also told me that she was the senior deacon for the church and asked me if I would like to join the board after my confirmation in the spring. When I heard this news my response wasn't as immediate as I wish I had made it. I told her thank you for asking me and that I would think about it..

The truth was that I had no idea what a deacon was or what they are supposed to do. As soon as I got home I "googled" it. I found out a lot of useless information about what deacons do and the importance of them to the church. Yet I still didn't understand why I was asked to be one...

A few days later I got a call from my church from Gary, one of my ministers. He helped me to decide that becoming a deacon would be a great move for me, and that I would be a great addition to the group. He told me that all the deacons voted about letting me on board and that the vote was unanimous.

That sealed my decision. I became a deacon. Now, I am serving my third term and loving it. I definitely made the right decision.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


In the beginning..
When you open up the bible the first three words you will find are "In the beginning..." From the book of Genesis chapter one, the story of creation. Well, that was my beginning, my story of creation. And my story starts out something like this...

"Megan, do you really want to be here?" -Rev. Gary Smith

"What do you mean?"-Me
"Do you really want to be confirmed, become a part of this church?"-Rev. Gary Smith
"Why?"- Rev. Gary Smith
"Uh... I don't know.."-Me
"Then why are you here?"- Rev. Gary Smith
"Because I want to be confirmed."-Me
"Think about it. And give me a real answer."-Rev. Gary Smith

That is what I did. From my first day of confirmation and on, it was the only thing on my mind. My faith, my thoughts, my beliefs, and my future life in the church were my true focus. We were required to write an essay before we were to be confirmed. This essay was to show why we thought we should be confirmed and basically what we believed in.

The essay was due on his desk by Easter morning. He had told us to start it early, he asked us to bring in rough drafts, and he said he would offer any help that we needed. But me, being who I am didn't do any of those things. I started my essay Easter morning after the Easter brunch that I served at, and the Easter service that I ushered at.

The time was 11:15 A.M., time time I finish was 11:56 A.M. I poured everything that I could possibly think of about my faith into that essay. I finally answered his question, and my own, why I wanted to be confirmed...

He told me it was one of the best confirmation essays he had ever read. Him saying that meant a lot to me. And that definitely gave my story of creation a great "In the beginning.."

...the best part is, I handed in my paper on time :)

The Past...

In a way... my religious journey could be traced all the way back 18 years ago when I was first baptised into my faith. But for the sake of rambling and for saving time, I think it would be best to stick with the last 4 years. However, I will quickly share those first 14 years.

I hated the idea of going to church, as most young children of that age most likely do. They would much rather be sleeping in on Sunday mornings, or watching TV with a big bowl of Fruit Loops sitting on their laps. That was me. I was that kid who would fight with their mother about staying home. And to make my church experience so much better... my mother didn't even go up to church with me.

For the past ten years my mother has been volunteering in the nursery at our church. That is where I would beg to go every Sunday, down to the nursery with her to help take care of the babies. I would skip out on church, on Sunday school, and I would never go to receive communion. I would hide down in the nursery with my mother. But she insisted for me to be confirmed into the church.

And that is where it all began...