Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | September 26, 2013

Don’t Judge Me by the TV I Watch!

This week brings with it not only the change of seasons from summer to fall, but also the new TV season! I thought it would be fun to explore some of my favorite TV Shows. Beth may just make an appearance and share some of her favorites as well.

A couple weeks ago I was being taken on a tour of several different group homes that I would be ministering at. I didn’t know my tour guide very well, as we only just met during an interview, but had exchanged some emails. One would think that the conversation might start with some basic knowledge or even clarifications of the person you just hired. Nope, the first sentence as we departed for the tour was “Don’t Judge me by the TV I watch”. I’m thinking my husband watches shows like Ice-Road Truckers and Gator Boys; I try not to judge him, how bad could this be.  Turns out the two of us watch the same show and we also com away with very different perceptions of the same show, Sister Wives.

I’m not going to use this as a pulpit to blast the show or the Polygamy. I actually watch the show to learn about a different faith tradition and a different way of life. Plain and simple no more / no less.

As I thought about the new TV season and what is waiting to be recorded on our DVR, I was thinking how interesting it is where our families interest lie. Who will watch what with who? My husband and I are negotiating a “catch-up” night for Chicago Fire. My daughter is heads over heels infatuated with Gator Boys. I watched an episode with her, and I found it to have some educational value to it. The episode we watched together the guys on the gator ranch were trying to bring a blind gator back to health! Who knew?

I’m still a sucker for Grey’s Anatomy, although I watch it with less and less interest each year. Each year I wonder how much longer they can drag on these story lines?  My son is a big fan of Phineas and Ferb. I’ve actually found that show to spark some imagination and conversation. He’ll also watch a variety of Food Network shows with me. We really like Chopped and The Great Food Truck Race.

My husband watches all sorts of “Reality” shows like Pawn-Stars, Gold Rush, Ice-Road Truckers. If its fall / winter and its Packer season you can find him with a remote in his hand and yelling at the TV as though the players and coaches can hear him on the side-lines.

What have I learned from our families TV watching habits;

  • There is literally SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!!
  • Because there is something for everyone we’ve actually had some interesting conversations about something we’ve learned or thought was odd / strange or just plain wrong.
  • Its okay to escape our own reality. I like to think that we have our feet on the ground and can distinguish between reality and good or bad writing / acting.
  • The TV won’t always rot your brain, contrary to what our parents told us. TV can contribute to imagination outside of the flat-screen.
  • We always have the choice to turn off the TV and find something else to do!

I love television, and I always have. Just like my taste in reading (I prefer the Enquirer, but have written 15 page essays on Shakespeare and Moby Dick) I love to watch everything from historical documentaries (I just watched a documentary on an early princess from the 1700s on Destination America) to Bridezillas. (Yep. Not regularly, but I am fascinated with why it is that someone would marry someone who treats people with absolute disdain and derision. I don’t understand it, and it is addicting.) While I don’t watch Bridezillas with any regularity (it is not on my dvr list,) I have become quite bored with ‘reality’ tv and watch very little of it, except cooking competitions on Food Network. Recently, I have begun to watch a tv show called Supernatural on TNT in the mornings at the gym. It is actually a really good show, even though I don’t believe in the supernatural. But, it is well-written, well-acted, and pretty interesting. And now that it’s fall, I need to fall back onto my favorite show of all time. I was just telling Tracy this morning that season 3 just arrived last week. My guiltiest pleasure is watching my Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries DVD’s. That was my favorite show growing up. I loved the storylines and I loved the characters. Every fall I drag them out and try to spend some time watching them. And I am NOT ashamed! (PS I used to watch Sister Wives, but can’t seem to bother myself with another season of it.) – Beth

Do you judge people by what they watch on TV? Do you think people would judge you for what you chose to watch? What TV show are you most looking forward to a new season of? OR what was your favorite TV Show/Series and why?

To go back where I started on this tour with my new boss, and his opening statement of “don’t judge me for the TV I watch”, ended with “well I’m glad I didn’t ask you in your interview if you watched Sister Wives, I may not have hired you.” He was kidding of course. It just goes to show that whether we know it or even think about it, people make passive judgments all the time based on what TV shows we watch. We could take that wasted energy of judgment to engage in conversation and learn something about each other and the world we live in if we’d engage in conversation, NOT judgment!

Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | September 24, 2013

A Big Heart Open to God…a lay persons response, Part 2

Yesterday’s post, I tackled the first 3 things that I learned from Pope Francis’ interview from earlier this week with the Jesuits.  Today I present my last two “lessons learned” from this interview.

4. A Deeper Theology of Women and Women’s Role in the Church: For as long as I can remember there has always been a contingent (mostly made up of women) that hold a particular grudge, because women at this time are not allowed to be ordained in the Catholic church. This contingent never seems to want to take a good hard look at the variety of roles of leadership and service women do have in the Catholic Church. Instead it seems to be easier to focus on the “no” like a three year old that was told they couldn’t have a cookie ten minutes before dinner.  I am NOT one of the women in the contingent that only focuses on the issue(s) surrounding women’s ordination.

I personally feel very blessed to have the education in theology that I do have. I have earned degrees at two outstanding schools. I have been able to expand upon my education with continuing ed programs in the areas of scripture studies and theology at places like Princeton’s School of Theology, St.John’s University, Boston College and Notre Dame. All schools, programs that just 50 years ago would not have been an option for me. I worked for 17-years in the position of a Director of Youth Ministry; during this time I was charged with the formation of thousands of students!! I was able to lead a variety of scripture classes for adults. I’m now in a position that can best be described as that of a Chaplain (although I don’t like that title). I provide Pastoral Care to a variety of people in any given day. I take Communion to people who are unable to get to Mass on a regular basis. I break open the word with those people, I pray with some of the most marginalized in society.  I truly feel as though I am ministering the way Jesus instructed His Disciples to Minister, without regard to color or creed, or disability. It doesn’t matter to these people that I am a woman!

Does the church need a clearer, deeper theology of women and the role of women in the church. YES that is absolutely something that is needed. Where do I think we should start is with a careful study of the many many women in scripture and what those roles in those communities in those times were, I would guess that we’d find many more similarities than differences.

Pope Francis, PLEASE go ahead and put together a study group of Men & Women to develop this theology, raise the questions, I trust that you will do this with prudence and prayer.

Lastly:Seeking God in all things:  Much has been written about the fact that Pope Francis is a  Jesuit In the article A Big Heart Open to God  the topic of how Pope Francis embraces and lives the Jesuit lifestyle as the Pope was addressed. One of the tenants of being a Jesuit is to actively Find God in all things. This would seem a lot easier said than done. Pope Francis had a wonderful answer to HOW he continues to Find God in All Things.  “Finding God in all things is not an ‘empirical eureka.’ When we desire to encounter God, we would like to verify him immediately by an empirical method. But you cannot meet God this way. God is found in the gentle breeze perceived by Elijah. The senses that find God are the ones St. Ignatius called spiritual senses. Ignatius asks us to open our spiritual sensitivity to encounter God beyond a purely empirical approach. A contemplative attitude is necessary: it is the feeling that you are moving along the good path of understanding and affection toward things and situations. Profound peace, spiritual consolation, love of God and love of all things in God—this is the sign that you are on this right path.” 

Can you even imagine a world where people actually look for God in all things, regardless of Who/What you call God? To look for that loving, merciful and creative energy in every person, in every situation. I think then and only then will we truly achieve world peace.

I will personally be more than happy to settle for family peace! If we could just make it our goal to look for God in each member of our family. Immediate and extended and truly believe that there is only good-will intended for each other.  This too would bring a different kind of world peace. It’s a peace that is obtainable with a little bit of time, patience and love.

There are so many more things that we can all learn from Pope Francis’ interview, both about him and his style of leadership, reform, prayer life as well as ourselves. If you haven’t read this article yet I’d really recommend it.  It was very well written. It is now a piece of history as this kind of interview has never happened before!  Go ahead, check it out  America Magazine A Big Heart Open to God

If you have any thoughts, comments, reactions to what you read in this interview or with this bloggers reaction and lesson learned, feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment.

Thank You for entertaining my reaction to this historical interview as well.

Up next, Don’t Judge me by what I watch on TV.

Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | September 23, 2013

A Big Heart Open to God…a lay persons response

Thursday September 19th turned out to be a historic day. Thursday Sept. 19th was the day that the groundbreaking and historical interview with Pope Francis was published across the globe in 16 different Jesuit Publications, simultaneously.

Its been Titled A Big Heart Open to God…a lay persons response.  pope1_0

Since the publication was released, there has been a variety of response / analysis from people like Chris Matthews on Hardball. There were segments dedicated to the interview on CNN. Journalists and Bloggers have weighed in about what the Pope said in this interview. Some have looked at and interpreted what Pope Francis did and didn’t say.

I had been thinking about how this blogger wanted to respond, after all the blog’s title came from Pope Francis’s first homily to the Cardinals the day after he was elected Pope, he told the Cardinals their job was to Walk.Build.Proclaim.  As seems to be Pope Francis style, he knew he wasn’t solely speaking to the audience in front of him, the message was meant for his whole flock.

Sunday Sept. 22nd an article from David Gibson, Religion News Service surfaced. David Gibson looked at 5 Things we learned about Pope Francis blockbuster Interview.

In that vein, of the 5 Things we learned about Pope Francis, I would like to share the 5 things that I learned FROM Pope Francis and will take with me into my Ministry. (My response will be split into two parts just for lengths sake.) Watch for part two on Tuesday!

1. It’s OK to admit your faults and learn and grow from them! 

The very first question asked by Antonio Spodaro, S.J. is;  “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” He stares at me in silence. I ask him if I may ask him this question. He nods and replies: “I ​​do not know what might be the most fitting description…. I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”

This is one of the “sound bites” that has gotten a lot of attention and for good reason. Who would expect the answer that Pope Francis gave, “I am a sinner?”  We tend to hold the office of Pope and the person who holds that office to a higher standard. The response is a good reminder for all of us Catholic or not, that Pope Francis is as human as the rest of us are. He has faults, just as we all have faults. Everyday he strives to live a better life and make a mends.  I personally appreciated the realization that we all have some course corrections to make in our lives, and it’s OK.

2:  Consultation is key!  I was personally very impressed and excited to read about Pope Francis’s desire for consultation. Not just consultation with one or two people, but with as many people as possible or reasonable that is related to any particular topic / issue or reform.  Pope Francis clearly stated that he learned from the mistakes he made at a young age when put in a position of authority.

I have worked with a variety of people that have made broad stroke decisions with little or no consultation, inevitably the decisions that were made didn’t serve the needs of the people very well. When true consultation and collaboration take place is when the best changes / reforms take place and people are better served.

3. Young & Old Churches: It wasn’t that long ago that there were some 3.1 Million People Young Adults in Rio De Janeiro celebrating World Youth Day 2013. They were singing and dancing with the Pope as he celebrated Mass on Copacabana Beach. As we saw footage of this in the United States and around the world, there was a sense of the church being alive and thriving. The question looms about how a young church finds their place in a church that is steeped in tradition. How do these two “generations” learn to co-exist and learn from each other?   The Popes response was; “The young Catholic churches, as they grow, develop a synthesis of faith, culture and life, and so it is a synthesis different from the one developed by the ancient churches. For me, the relationship between the ancient Catholic churches and the young ones is similar to the relationship between young and elderly people in a society. They build the future, the young ones with their strength and the others with their wisdom. You always run some risks, of course. The younger churches are likely to feel self-sufficient; the ancient ones are likely to want to impose on the younger churches their cultural models. But we build the future together.”

I worked in Youth Ministry for 17-years. During that lifetime, I repeatedly saw the coming together of the young and the older; they learned from each other, and they shared faith journey’s and learned what it meant for each generation to live the gospel. I completely agree with Pope Francis that one generation isn’t better than the other, they need each other to learn from, this is when there are vibrant communities of prayer and worship.

I will be back with my last two areas of response. I’d love to hear (read) what any of your thoughts are related to this historical interview.  Feel free to leave a comment, thought, reaction to the Pope Francis Interview.

Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | September 20, 2013

This Isn’t Your Grandmother’s Rosary

Call your mother

If you are Catholic, you probably had a flood of memories come rushing back as soon as you saw the above picture. If you’re not Catholic, you may have some knowledge of what a Rosary is but no real idea of how its used or prayed.  This blog article is for both audiences, as I’m going to share with you a whole new way to use the rosary as a prayer tool.  Be warned my Catholic readers, this is truly NOT your grandmothers rosary!

This is the “formula” for an alternative rosary. Its based on Ecclesiastes 3, for every thing there is a season.

As we just experienced a seasonal change from summer to fall, people go through their own seasonal changes with birth, death, loss of jobs, new jobs, new adventures. This is a nice way to pray thru those personal — seasonal times of change. This is really best used with a single decade rosary (10-beads) also known as a car or travel rosary, they are pretty available at most Christian Book/Gift stores. I am including some extra thoughts if your praying this with a full 5 decade rosary.


 ON CROSS: In the name of the Father and Mother, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, followed by a “Glory Be”  Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and forever shall be. Amen. 

 1st bead  Be Still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46.10) 

2nd bead Lamp Unto my Feet: 

“Holy Abba make these words a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

(Think about birth and death as part of a circle, not opposite ends of a life. Think of how similar the very young and very old are as they are almost at the same point on the circle.)

Decade beads: 

1) To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven;

2) A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to reap;

3) A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4) A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

5) To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

6) A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.

7) A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

8) A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

9) a time to love, and a time to hate, a time of war; and a time of peace.

10) To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

If you have a full 5-decade rosary, some thoughts for the separator beads:

  •  -joy and sorrow and how the things that cause sorrow are often linked to the things that cause joy.
  • gain and loss-joy of gain, pain of loss. Sometimes we gain things we need to lose.
  • -creativity and destruction. How does destruction sometimes make room for the creative force to do its job?
  • Pray the Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

Trust in the LORD with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will direct your paths.

Proverbs 3, 5-6

Soon you’ll find yourself back at the beginning. These are some closing prayer suggestions

  • spend a few minutes with one of the reflections from above.
  • pray for someone that is experiencing pain, joy, sorry etc….(prayers of the faithful)

1st Separator Bead “Be Still and know that I Am God” (Psalm 46.10)

Finish with an Our Father–(Cross)

I use this format for praying the rosary quite often. I’d be very interested to hear from anyone else that may have other suggestions / prayers / different ways to pray the rosary or using other prayer beads.

Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | September 10, 2013

Guest Blog Raising Kids in Faith

Check out my guest post on Raising Kids in Faith, Guest Blog Mom & Baby

Kids Prayer

Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | September 6, 2013

Radical Hospitality

Last week I wrote a little bit about Benedict’s Rule 53, “treat every guest as though they are Christ”  This is also known as Radical Hospitality. This rule is lived out by Benedictine Monks all over the world! It’s meant for them to not see guests as a disruption in their lives and routines, but it’s meant to be a reminder that guests, no matter how many of them at one time, all have something to share with the hosts.

This was the case over the Labor Day weekend in Milwaukee, WI; actually not just in Milwaukee, but state wide people practiced radical hospitality with the nearly 100,000 Harley Riders that came to visit and celebrate the legend that is Harley Davidson.

There were block parties and factory tours and Bike Blessings. Surprisingly there were only six motorcycle with injury related accidents over the five days that Milwaukee played host to this party. People really watched out for their guests and made room for them on the road. The one common thread that made this five-day event so successful and so much fun was taking the time to meet new people and hear their stories.

My family and I decided we wanted to be part of the festivities without being at the heart of the festivities, so we took our kids to the Plant Tour in Menomonee Falls on Saturday morning. This is where we witnessed radical hospitality and the common bond of Harley Davidson first hand.

To go on the plant tour you needed to have close-toed — closed heal shoes. There were several people in line with flip-flops or other sandals. As one woman was trying to decide if she could make it to the local Walmart and still catch up with her group, a rider in line behind her said, “I have an extra pair of boots on my bike. Let me run and grab them and you can have my shoes for the tour. After all we’re coming out the same exit.”

This was just one example of hundreds of thousands of people that practiced radical hospitality.

As our family was standing in line we had the great fortune to talk to people that had come in from Dubuque, IA, Minneapolis, MN and Quebec City, Quebec Canada. It was great to hear how riders would find groups to ride with on the road. They’d share rations and directions with each other. I was amazed how much trust was put into the locals when asking for directions or suggestions or places to check out and places to avoid.

Having 100,000 Harley Davidson enthusiasts in town for five days could have been a challenge; instead, it was a wonderful event in which Wisconsinites got to share their love for their state, and share some radical hospitality with our guests.

Hats off you to you Milwaukee for being a wonderful host city for this event. Looking forward to the 115th!

Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | August 30, 2013

Local Bike Blessings for the Harley 110th Celebration.

The city of Milwaukee and the surrounding areas are buzzing with excitement as nearly 50,000, YES Fifty Thousand Harley enthusiasts have descended upon the area to celebrate the 110th Anniversary of Harley Davidson.

There are so many things to do in Milwaukee and the surrounding area all weekend! There are block parties by the Milwaukee House of Harley, there are are Plant Tours in Menomonee Falls, dealers have different events all weekend. There is live music at the Summerfest Grounds, thats not even the tip of the ice-burg. Check out Harley 110th Event Info for a complete list of events and other details.

In all of this celebrating there are a couple of local churches that recognize that bikers may like to attend services or have their bikes and travels blessed. I’d like to share with you two Bike Blessings that we are aware of.  Please feel free to share this information with friends and bikers, we’d love to spend a few minutes in prayer with everyone this weekend.

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Kenosha is going to host a special bike blessing on Saturday Aug. 31st from 9am-10:30am check outKenosha Bike Blessing. Harley 110th for more information.

For those that are closer to the lake, then St.Joseph Catholich Church in Grafton would like to invite you to join Deacon Al in the St. Joseph parking lot at 9:30am on Sunday Sept. 1st for a bike blessing. (St. Joe’s is 2-miles of 43 at HWY 60 in Grafton). St. Joseph Parish, Grafton

We wish all the Bikers a wonderful & safe weekend in Milwaukee.

Happy Anniversary Harley Davidson.

Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | August 28, 2013

Happy Anniversary Harely-Davidson

If you live in Wisconsin, you know that there is only one event that can eclipse the pending Packer season, a Harley Davidson Anniversary Celebration! This year Milwaukee, will play host to the 110th Harley Davidson Anniversary Celebration. This celebration is nothing new to us in Wisconsin, its an exciting time as we listen to the rumbles coming down the roads, and catch glimpses of the different license plates from all over the United States and the World. Hundreds of thousands of people will descend upon the Milwaukee Lakefront and surrounding area to celebrate their love and loyalty of Harley Davidson. Harley Logo

Milwaukee and surrounding areas are making the last minute preparations to welcome their guests and make them feel like Milwaukee is their home away from home.

Starting Wed. afternoon, people will be standing on the over pass bridges with signs that say Welcome Home Harley Riders. There is a real sense of pride, ownership and camaraderie with our guests. After all everyone is here to celebrate the legend that got its start in a small shed (13 x 18 if I remember the display sign correctly.) It has become a world wide phenomenon.  The best part is that you don’t have to be a Harley owner/rider to get swept up in the excitement.

As I’ve been watching the news coverage, listening to interviews with members of the Harley and Davidson families that are making their way to Milwaukee, I keep thinking about how this celebration really reflects St .Benedict’s Rule 53, “To greet every guest as though they were Christ” Its an invitation to reach out to strangers and welcome them to your home, whether that is your physical home or the city / state that you live in.

Business are going all out to welcome Harley Riders. Churches will be holding special services and bike blessings all weekend long.  There is a true sense that we want our guests to be as comfortable as possible. We want them to have a place to rest, some place to break bread and share a meal (in WI we don’t break bread, we break Brats).  Most importantly we want our guests to feel safe on our roads.

If you are part of that larger community known as HOGS and are coming to Wisconsin this weekend to celebrate the legend, then welcome, we’re glad you’re here. If you are one of the many businesses welcoming the Harley Riders, Thank You for your hospitality. If you are a motorist on the road this weekend in the Milwaukee area, please share the road with our visitors, we want them to come back in 2015. If you are a by-stander like myself, then try to get out to the celebration, welcome the riders, let them tell you their Harley Story.

Welcome to Home Harley Riders.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, as I get ready to get on this hog and prepare to ride,
Just let me feel your presence with me riding side by side.
Let us feel the wind together blowing across our face,
Don’t let me fail to see and smell the nature around me as I ride from
place to place.

Dear Lord, keep me safe from harm and let the other drivers see me as I ride by,
And every once in awhile even though I’m a biker let them say, “Hi”.
Keep me alert and always watching for others,
Don’t let me ever fail to stop and help out one of my sisters or brothers.

And when my time on earth is up and it’s time for me to take that ride in the sky,
Just give me a chance to tell everyone I love them and don’t forget me when I die.
Lord, Thank You for letting me be a biker and doing what I loved the best,
For the many miles I traveled, places I got to go and see before I finally came to rest.

-Dean Downey


Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | July 18, 2013

Meaningful Family Dinner Conversation

Gathering families together around the dinner table is becoming increasingly difficult. Corinne Schmitt, guest blogger has some great tips on how to bring families together and how to enter into meaningful that thoughtful conversation.

Family Dinner Conversation

by Corinne Schmitt

The older my kids get, the faster time seems to be going. The years are whipping by and before long, my oldest child is going to be moving away to go to college. Between work, school, church, sports, and other family obligations, family together time is pretty limited. For this reason, I cherish our dinnertime because it is the one time of day where we are all together.

A few years ago, we started a dinner ritual of taking turns telling everyone the best and worst parts of our day. Whoever said the dinner prayer would choose the first person and after that person answered, he or she would pick the next answerer. I love this tradition because it gives me a peek into each of the kids’ days and personalities (and my husband’s), while providing them an opportunity to unload anything that was troubling them about their day.

Not long after we began this new tradition, one of the kids asked if they could ask a question rather than have the next person list their good and bad parts of their day. The rest of us figured it would be fun to change things up a little so we agreed to give it a try. This twist made everything about our little dinner game even better!

Based on the questions the kids asked, we got a better view of their interests and an appreciation for their creativity. From the kids’ perspective, I think they all enjoy having the spotlight for at least a few minutes each night when everyone listens to their answers.

If you aren’t already doing this with your family, here are some suggestions of questions you can use to kick off the dinner conversation:

  • What was the best part of your day?
  • What was the worst part of your day?
  • What was the funniest part of your day?
  • What are you most looking forward to tomorrow?
  • What is your favorite school memory?
  • What is your favorite vacation memory?
  • What is your favorite holiday memory?
  • What is your favorite dinner?
  • What was the best present you’ve ever received and why?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? (For parents: What did you think you would be when you grew up?)
  • Tell a story from when you were 4 years old.
  • If you could have any super power, what would you choose and why?
  • If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
  • If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
  • What 3 things are you most thankful for?
  • If you had one wish, what would you wish for (and it can’t be more wishes)?
  • What do you like most about each person in the family?

This is just a list to get you started. I promise you that once you let your kids start choosing the questions, you won’t run the risk of running out of topics.

About the Author

Corinne is a mom of four who blogs at about parenting, meal planning, and running a busy household.

This weeks recipe is for : Pizza Burgers ! Whats more of a crowd pleaser than this combination? Its sure to bring the whole gang to the dinner table!

Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | July 17, 2013

I Am….

Today we are forgoing the Red Shoe Worthy-Woman topic,  because there is an entire group of teenagers and adults that are spending the week in Benton Harbor, MI serving people that they have never met before, and will most likely never see again. They are sleeping on floors in an old school, showering at a local YMCA sort of place and eating camp food, all in the name of Service and Faith! This is the Mission Trip group from St.James in Menomonee Falls, WI.

There are 60 youth and 11 adults that are part of this group. They are all absolutely amazing and faith filled people; I know because I served on seven Mission Trips with many of these people.

Each year the camp (Youth Works) has a theme for the week, a theme that is carried thru day. This year’s theme is I Am …. When asked back in Oct. what made a mission tripper a mission tripper the answers were

I Am…….

  • A Servant
  • A Leader
  • A Disciple
  • Chosen
  • Hope
  • Brother and Sister in Christ

I Am the Hands and Feet of Christ.

No Truer words have ever been printed on a t-shirt or lived. In my ministry career, I was blessed to have participated in 20 Mission Trips all over the United States and Canada. I would guesstimate that I met and served with somewhere near 1,000 people. Each and every one of those people reflects everyone of the above I Am statements.

For EVERYONE that has given up a week (or more) of their summer in service to others, to you we award the Red-Paint Brush!


The Red Paint Brush represents selflessness, service, compassion, relationships that are are formed and nurtured for a life-time and of cours the Holy Spirit.

When I left for my 2nd Mission Trip, summer 1997 to Charmco, West Virginia my driving partner from the previous year said to me “Watch for the Dance of the Spirit”. I never forgot that and have seen that dance happen summer after summer in a different location.

To the St.James, Good Shepherd and St. Kilian Kids, Parents, Adults past and present, please know that my time on Mission Trip with each of you was a true blessing. You are all truly

  • Servants
  • Leaders
  • Disciples
  • Chosen
  • Hope
  • Brothers and Sister in Christ

The Hands and Feet of Christ 

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Gary Neal Hansen

Theology. It's good for you.