Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a deacon dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: good shepherd umc

Deacon’s Call: Lisa McGehee

I’ve been collecting call stories from my friends who are serving in diaconal ministries – ministries of service – expressed in the United Methodist Church through the provisional and ordained deacon, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and home missioners.  In this post you will hear from Lisa McGehee who is an ordained deacon currently serving as  the Associate Minister at Good Shepherd United Methodist in Richmond, Virginia. Here are Lisa’s words: 

The seed for my call was planted before I was born. My maternal grandmother was passionate about serving and caring for others – humans, animals and creation. It was through her life and the way that my mother was raised that I became an advocate for those without a voice. Granny left a legacy filled with stories of providing for care for children. She opened the family home to her children’s friends giving them a warm meal, clothes to wear and a place to stay.

She cared equally for animals and there are many stories of my grandfather and my mother and her siblings coming into the kitchen to find “the box” that sat beside the wood burning stove. “The box” provided protection for an animal that was born the littlest or one that was injured. She raised it with care until it was ready to leave. Her love for creation was equal to the love she had for people and animals. She was a farmer and a gardener who never seemed to have a challenge growing plants. I believe it was the care in which she planted the seed and tended the soil. She gave thanks and praise to God for all that she had and deeply desired to share it with others.

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Richmond Mission: Day Two

Our motto for the week is becoming: “Every day is an adventure.”

After dropping off the team at Good Shepherd United Methodist in Glen Allen, I took the rental van to the shop the rental company uses to have one of the tires looked at. I watched for a few minutes, went inside and came back to find this:

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I went back inside for a bit, and then came back outside and found this:

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The mechanic found a nail in the tire and replaced it with a new tire.

The group worked at Good Shepherd United Methodist this morning. One crew cleaned their hospitality House, where they allow families to live for a short period of time as they transition. The previous family, however, left unannounced and when they did so, left the house in quite a disarray of dirtiness. There were dirty dishes in the sink at least three weeks old, used diapers, rings of dirt (or more) in the tub. It was a mess! The group that worked on the house was faithful to getting it clean and spotless, as well as loading a pick-up truck full of trash.

Other teams helped organize a craft closet and cleaned Nursery toys. Later the group moved storage cabinets into a storage room, after moving everything out of the room.

Good Shepherd provided an incredible lunch, sending with us sodas, homemade cupcakes, and other treats to snack on. Everyone has been very generous with feeding us so far. We will not go hungry! After returning to Trinity, just about everyone took a nap. It was a quiet hour and a half.

Tonight, we returned to Blandford United Methodist Church for day two of Jedi Academy VBS. This was the site in the van on the way:

van - sleep

Tonight we talked about Thomas doubting and how we have the power to choose to believe. We continued to have fun with the children of Blandford, singing songs, doing Jedi Yoga, crafts, and games. The greatest gift the team is giving is loving these children unconditionally.

This was the site in the van leaving Blandford, giving testimony to the power of doing God’s work:

wide awake

Guest Post: When There is Love

Rev. Lisa McGehee is an ordained deacon in the Virginia Annual Conference serving as Minister of Adult Discipleship and Communications at Good Shepherd United Methodist in Henrico, Virginia. 

Slide3Read Psalm 72. 

The theme for the second Sunday of Advent is love. While the word love is not found in Psalm 72, it’s there in the prayers for justice and righteousness. Psalm 72 originated as a prayer for the king – it is thought to be King David’s last psalm written for his son Solomon. It’s a prayer focused on justice and righteousness – God’s justice and God’s righteousness. It’s a prayer that gives a charge to the king (vv. 2-7) to protect and defend the poor and the needy and to take down those that oppress. Or as described in The Message, “Please stand up for the poor, help the children of the needy, come down hard on the cruel tyrants.” The psalmist prays that justice and righteousness prevails when the king stays focused on God’s plan.

Where there is justice and righteousness there is peace. Where there is peace there is love. Ah, peace and love. Perhaps there is no other time when we pray for peace and love more than Advent. Oh, but wait, this year we have constantly prayed for peace and justice. We’ve prayed for Egypt, Syria and North Korea. We’ve prayed for innocent children and teachers, for Navy yard workers, for marathon runners who lost their lives because someone was calling out for help or sought revenge. We have prayed for senior adults who cut back on meals because of local food pantries with empty shelves. We’ve prayed for cities that have declared bankruptcy. These issues seem insurmountable. This is due in part because governments and political systems appear to be the controllers, perhaps even the oppressors, of this world. Yes, we have prayed for peace and love this year.

Psalm 72 doesn’t give a strategic plan on how to bring about justice and righteousness. However, the key is found throughout all of scripture – the key is love. Even in the darkest of days and times, where there is love, oppression is lifted. When we remember the love that God has for this world, we work harder for justice and righteousness. This week, think about ways that you can be the king – or queen – of love who stands up for the poor, who helps the children and who lets the oppressor know that their way is not a way of love.

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