Sermon: “Lessons from the Gaza Road.” This homily by Laurence Steven at Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines, ON, on August 14 offers some stunning insights into the story of the deacon Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch on the Jerusalem-Gaza road. Did you know that the site of the eunuch’s baptism is thought to be a West Bank spring that was, until a few years ago, a place where Jews, Muslims, and Christians enjoyed equal access. Today it is off-limits to West Bank residents, even though it is on the Palestinian side of the green line.
MacGregor-area farmer opens charity sunflower selfie spot for 2nd year. Sunflower field aims to raise donations for Canadian Foodgrains Bank
A Manitoba farmer is continuing his tradition of helping people take the ultimate sunflower-themed selfies — while also raising money to stamp out hunger.
Dean Toews, who farms just outside of MacGregor, Man., has again planted a large field of sunflowers in hopes of attracting Instagrammers to come, snap pics and make a voluntary donation to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank – a Christian Response to Hunger.
Toews is the chair of Feed Other Countries Undo Starvation, or FOCUS. His family's farm, two others in the area and five Hutterite colonies volunteer to grow food for the organization in benefit of the foodgrains bank. Local suppliers also help with donations of fertilizer and chemicals.
The Canadian Foodgrains Bank works to help developing countries meet emergency food needs and devise long-term solutions to hunger.
Last year's effort raised $2,000 in cash donations and made another $20,000 on the sale of the sunflower crop, Toews said. The federal government matched that amount at a ratio of 4:1, meaning more than $100,000 was raised overall.
There are four different Philips mentioned in the New Testament. King Herod the Great had two sons - from two different wives - named Philip (Luke 3:1; Matthew 14:3). Philip the apostle was one of Jesus' twelve disciples and Philip the evangelist was one of the original deacons of the church in Jerusalem. Throughout history the apostle and evangelist have been confused as the same person, but they are, in fact, two distinct men who both helped to spread the gospel in the early days of the church. The name “Philip” means “friend of horses.” - https://thebibleanswer.org/
The whole point of the kingdom of God is Jesus has come to bear witness to the true truth, which is nonviolent. When God wants to take charge of the world, he doesn't send in the tanks. He sends in the poor and the meek.
God's plan is not to abandon this world, the world which he said was "very good." Rather, he intends to remake it. And when he does he will raise all his people to new bodily life to live in it. That is the promise of the Christian gospel.
Jesus doesn't give an explanation for the pain and sorrow of the world. He comes where the pain is most acute and takes it upon himself. Jesus doesn't explain why there is suffering, illness, and death in the world. He brings healing and hope. He doesn't allow the problem of evil to be the subject of a seminar. He allows evil to do its worst to him. He exhausts it, drains its power, and emerges with new life.”
Wherever St. Paul went, there was a riot. Wherever I go, they serve tea. 😊 -- N. T. Wright
Jan Steven is the Pastoral Care Chaplain at Grace Mennonite Church. She is also the webservant.