For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. -- Psalm 139:13-16
Please take time to prayerfully review the April 2012 Prayer Calendar (PDF), the piece contains a number of updates, pictures, and upcoming event announcements. With regard to finances, we ask you to prayerfully consider a fiscal year end gift to close an estimated gap of $15,000 in a nearly $100,000 ministry budget (year ends on June 30).
Note: If you have not already done such, please drop us a line/call with a sense of your 2012 anticipated giving. We trust in the Lord's provision through the people of God. Note: At present we've received $63,083.83 and face an operating shortfall of -$11,408.
A few quick items before I head to PSU-Hershey to meet with the outgoing Christian Medical Society (CMS)/CMDA President to debrief 2011-2012 and to prayerfully offer up CMS to the Lord's leading in 2012-2013 (below is the picture of the current and incoming leadership teams meeting together as 'the baton is passed').
First, the psalmist's words in Psalm 139-13-16 will be the focus of my final paper for OT 532 Historical & Poetic Books w/Professor David A. Dorsey. Earlier today I shared words inspired by this text, reassuring a young woman that despite all her struggles, she has been fearfully and wonderfully made. She is not a mistake. God has a deep care for her and a purpose/direction for her life, including the love of family/friends. Look for future posts (here and at ESN Blog) not only on this text, but also material stemming from:
- joy of sharing the Word and Life of Jesus the Christ on campus, around the world (Medical Missions) and across the web. Testimony time! Please don't miss the blog posts by an Emerging Scholar with whom I've connected for several years, 13 Ways of Looking at Graduate School.
- reflections on an excellent A Night with the Inklings dessert presentation by David C. Downing. Thank-you!
- readings, e.g., Paul Brand & Philip Yancey’s In The Likeness of God which served as the foundation for an adult elective at our local congregation in preparation for Phil Thuma, M.D.'s Christian Scholar Series visit.
- conversations, e.g., Owen Gingerich, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University and a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Related: Emerging Scholars Network blog posts on my reading of Paul Nisly's Sweeping Up the Heart: A Father's Lament for His Daughter (Good Books, 1992).
- research on "trauma, grief, suffering, and resurrection" for SF823: Spiritual Direction Strategies with Professor Jo Ann Kurz. Note: Material will include some reflections on the Book of Job and parallels to Jesus' final days.
- yesterday's discussion on "special needs ministry in local congregations" (hosted by Evangelical) was similar in format to the February gathering with Kent Annan. The conversation before/after was a great encouragement. Pray for next steps at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church and other local congregations with a passion to serve those with special needs.
- Preparations for
- 4/10 Merchandiser interview for the conclusion of the spring Christian Critical Thinking Series (Elizabethtown Public Library)
- 8/28 Dessert for the Christian Medical Society/CMDA with Scott Boyles and Scott Ries (to be confirmed) with the end goal of creating a local council to assist with this growing work.
- 10/21 Kent Annan, co-founder/director of Haiti Partners, will be back as the speaker for the Christian Scholar Series. More information on the rest of his visit to be announced. Thought you'd be interested in knowing Kent Annan's After Shock: Searching for Honest Faith When Your World Is Shaken was just shortlisted for a book of the year award by ForeWord Reviews, alongside Richard Foster, Miroslav Volf, and a few others. -- http://www.bookoftheyearawards.com/finalists/2011/category/religion/
More later, truly must head to campus. Thank-you for standing and kneeling with us in the work of the Kingdom of God. To God be the glory!