Chuck knows . . . .
In “Weekend at Barney’s”, Ted plans to bring Jeannette to Barney and Robin’s wedding. In an effort to help him, Barney plans to walk Ted through a number of plays from the infamous Playbook. Yes, the Playbook we all thought Barney burned. Turns out, he kept it the original. When Robin finds out about the Playbook still in existence, she is, to say the least, upset. Barney runs after her and explains that of course he lied. That is all he has known for the last eight years. But the one truth that trumps all lies is that he loves Robin.
Jeannette, on the other name, is less reasonable than Robin. She finds out about the Playbook, and simply goes nuts. A few episodes back we got a hint that Jeannette would go crazy enough for Ted to finally say, “That’s enough.” Well, this is it. It’s all because of the Playbook. The Playbook is officially burned. Jeannette sets it on fire using Barney’s fireworks. With everything going boom as it falls out of Ted’s apartment, he says words that we have been waiting to hear, “No more dating. I’m ready to settle down.”
This episode showed the quality acting by Josh Radnor (Ted) and Jason Segel (Marshall). Radnor does some pretty crazy things following Barney’s Plays. In one scene he is standing in the bar wearing a hospital gown attempting to pick a girl. Barney wants him to say, “penis,” and Ted refuses. While standing in front of the girl, Ted carries on a conversation with Barney that only he can hear. Radnor does a brilliant performance.
Segel as Marshall is trying to make friends and help Lily out at her first art gallery working for her new boss. Convinced there will be no food there, he brings Skittles with him. In a moment when the artists is dedicating his work to his dead grandmother, he asks for a moment of silence. Marshall stands in the back of the room, determined to be supportive of Lily, when suddenly his Skittles start falling onto the floor out of his coat. Marshall does not move. Segel’s humor is often communicated through his body and facial expressions. Here, he makes us laugh by being still, committed to his effort to support Lily.
The episode ends with the whole gang sitting on the side of the street watching Ted’s belongings fall from the window above. This is just another great example and visual of what this show is about. Community. This image of these four friends sitting on the side of the street supporting their fifth friend is what the church should look like. This is the image of small group ministry, supporting one another in times of struggle and pain and grief. If you wonder why young people struggle with the church today, it may be because the church is missing this element of being community.
Disciplined accountability in small groups has been a distinctly Methodist nuance of the understanding of ‘church,’ and the original stress of the Methodist Discipline was on this distinct form of accountable discipleship. (Ted Campbell)
As a Christian Educator, I know how challenging it can be to come up with creative ways to present the Bible and aid people in learning the Bible. I have taught about the friendship between Jonathan and David in the Old Testament using Facebook “walls.” I have seen countless churches do their own version of Jeopardy as a refresher for the unit they just taught in Sunday school.
GSN premiered its new game show, The American Bible Challenge, last week that presents Bible trivia in some creative ways. Host Jeff Foxworthy, yes the Foxworthy of “You might be a Redneck, if . . .” fame, guides three teams through various rounds of Bible trivia. In the first round, three teams of three buzz in to reply to the question from a list of multiple choice answers. It’s the middle-school version of Jeopardy. In the second round, the teams of three are reduced to two and each team is given their own question to answer, no buzzing. This gives each team a chance to show up on the board. In the third round, the teams of two are reduced to one. The third round is the “choose three” round. Each question has three correct answers. Points are awarded for each correct answer.
From here, the two teams with the highest scores enter the Revelation Round. The two teams are given ten minutes for “Bible study” where they cram as much as they can about the broad topic they will be quizzed on. So far topics have been “Women of the Bible” and “Animals in the Bible.” The first team is brought out and they answer as many questions in sixty seconds as they are given on the topic. Afterwards, the other team (who has been a sound proof room) comes on stage to answer the same set of questions in sixty seconds.
The first episode presented somewhat fairly easy questions, which left much to be desired. However, this week’s episode, the questions increased in difficulty. There were some questions that Megan and I, both seminary grads, didn’t have answers for. This was actually welcomed as we played along. There is a lot about the Bible that many do not know. And they present the trivia in some creative ways, including Biblical figure’s Facebook pages and tweets; fill-in-the-blank Bible verses from Tim Tebow’s eye; and Word of the Lord vs. Lord of the Rings.
The coolest part of the show is that the teams are playing for their favorite charities. Some have played for soup kitchens, local churches, and cancer-related non-profits. And, staying Biblical, no one is a loser. Each team walks away with some money for their organization. The winning team gets to come back at the end of the season and compete with other winning teams for an even bigger prize.
Aside from the awkardly staged gospel choir, the GSN might be on to something.
For about 4 more weeks I’m driving from Lynchburg to UVA for CPE. It’s about an hour drive each way. Most evenings on the drive back to Lynchburg on Route 29, somewhere around entering Nelson County, there is a man standing in the median on the road. He stands there most evenings when I drive through. He stands there and when each car, both 29 northbound and southbound, he will face that car, smile, and wave as if he knows each person that is passing him.
Today, I waved and smiled back.
I don’t know why he does this everyday, though I think it would be interesting to talk to him and find out. But, what a difference he is making everyday! And he’s doing in a no-budget kind of way. Something so simple, yet so powerful.
This is the wordle version of my Pentecost sermon from a few weeks ago.
One summer in high school during our youth group’s Youth Sunday service I played a duet with my Aunt Polly. I on the trumpet and she on the organ. That Sunday was Mr. Paul Krupp’s “Come Back Sunday.”
Mr. Krupp and his wife had been absent from church for three or more months due to a horrible fall that he took replacing a clock in his workshop. That fall, which left him in the hospital for awhile, was just the beginning of his troubles. Physical therapy and then trying to get his Driver’s License back is what followed. The doctors never thought he would be able to sit up in bed after that fall, much less be able to drive a car again.
After the service, Mr. Krupp came up the aisle, followed by his wife of 50+ years, and he stopped by my side. His hunched back being supported by his walking cane. As his cane landed by my foot, he looked up into my eyes and told me he enjoyed the music. Mr. Krupp was a very talented musician and teacher. He played tuba in the community band for years. In addition, he fixed instruments for many of the students in the high school bands. He found any kind of brass music enjoyable, especially in worship.
Over the next week or so, Mr. Krupp took my trumpet into his workshop to give it a tune up. When he was done with he called to let me know it was ready. When I asked him how much we owed him for his time, he said, “Nothing at all. But, I do want you to come by.” So, I got my Momma to take me to his house.
After arriving at his house, I asked him again about a payment. He said, “Your playing in church was payment enough. I really enjoyed it. No matter how simple.” He proceeded to tell me what a great sound I can get out my Bach horn. And then, he brought out another trumpet and asks me to play it. So I doodled a few notes on the scale on it.
“Sounds good,” I said. He looked at me, and his old, worn, tired face smiled at me as he said, “It’s yours, and I mean it. It’s yours.”
I was speechless. I tried to form words, but I couldn’t. He chuckled from his old throat, and gave me instructions to use this horn for marching band as not to mess up the Bach horn.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Lee Ann Powers, a candidate for ministry on the deacon track and a student at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Lee Ann lives and worships in Lynchburg, Virginia.
What is Park View Community Mission (PVCM) on Memorial Ave /Wadsworth St in Lynchburg? Please read and become a part of God’s love and shalom.
Park View’s mission is to offer help to people for their present life, offer hope for a better life and offer Christ for eternal life.
A relationship with Jesus, as the parable of the Good Samaritan demonstrates, is defined not by being a neighbor in the passive sense but by finding ways to cross boundaries and to be a neighbor to the impoverished and broken in ways that will enhance their success. It’s about working to make practical improvements in the lives of individuals, families and communities.
PVCM is following Jesus in the most basic way – by loving and caring for the economically disadvantaged, the excluded, the outcast, the unwashed and the unwanted. These ‘unwanted’ are men and women with drug and alcohol addictions; without homes or stable housing; non-English speaking immigrants; the unemployed and those working several low-income paying jobs; the elderly on fixed incomes; multi-generational families raising kids whose parents are no longer in their life due to jail, death or desertion; and those who have just made bad choices in their lives. These are not statistics but real people who are a part of our community and are struggling daily just to survive.
PVCM strives to model hospitality, compassion, love, forgiveness, the power of acceptance and a faith without conventional church walls. For struggling households, PVCM is an extended household that comes together for worship and meals. For kids from dysfunctional homes and drug infested neighborhoods, PVCM is a sanctuary and a place to learn alternatives so they can grow and thrive. PVCM is hearing the cries of those suffering in our community just as we hear the Word of the Lord as a summons to make the world better by making known more fully the Gospel as Good News for our community.
The early Christians defined themselves by a faith that aligned them with the sick, the hungry, the excluded, and the broken, moving across every ethnic and cultural barrier to bring healing and hope. In the book of Acts we read that when the church shared its life and possessions, thus demonstrating that God’s Spirit was in their midst, the result was dramatic: “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” The early church grew dramatically because its members reached out to others in love and compassion. The costly demands of the Gospel were related to their understanding of a merciful God. The church shaped by the Spirit must always extend itself in sharing and caring beyond its ‘membership.’
The church and its belief in God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation and a new world provide the basis for people to believe that things can change in both their personal life and within their community. PVCM’s presence and spiritual commitment to the community makes it a true leader for this change. It provides the support people need to keep going, the inspiration for courage that is essential to moving forward, and the structure through which to accomplish it.
PVCM is not about ‘having or being a ministry’ so much as it is a community of people who worship and read scripture together, who share in the hope of the Gospel and who share joys, tragedies and resources in Christ. There is ‘one Lord’ and we are all ‘one people’ celebrating the Gospel in this broken and divided world. Reconciliation, as well as forgiveness and grace, are a gift from God. As recipients of God’s grace, PVCM strives to promote hope and healing, and to patiently nurture reconciliation by being incarnational within the community it is blessed to be a part of.
Shalom (peace) is God putting back together a broken people and a broken world. Embody Christ and be personally transformed by helping PVCM offer shalom to individuals and the community by:
- offering help for the present life (food, hot meals, clothes, funds, tangible goods; yourself thru servantship, leadership),
- offering hope for a better life (love, acceptance, grace and mercy) and
- offering Christ for eternal life (the Gospel in word and deed).
To learn more about the Park View Community Mission, click here.