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Newsletter May 2012

Scrabo Tower  

Work is worship. It is all work.

Those of you who know Marda, know that she loves to discuss "work".  We often repeat Earl Palmer's teaching that there is no word of retirement in the Bible, just "work and rest".

What is work?  With BlackBerry phones and outcome based evaluations, it's ALL work for the new knowledge worker.  Interspersed with mental and physical play, and rest or sleep, for more productivity, modern business has evolved the definition of work as toil. 

The Border Agency regulations do not permit us to technically start our work until our Visas are approved.  So we are still in the non-work mode but the freedom to work is coming soon.  As Christian workers we do not understand work in the same way as the regulations might define it.  Avodah is a Hebrew Biblical word

with two distinct meanings: group worship and work.  Sunday, we worship and had lunch with new friends.  At 5 pm we were on a Skype conference call for a project answering the question, What Does Peace Look Like?  The group is aiming to make a documentary on Northern Ireland.  That wasn't work.

On Saturday Ward toiled on new poems, and Marda went to a day of learning organized by a group promoting Christian meditation.  They were led by a rector who heads up a Celtic Spirituality Center.  Celtic Christianity are the deep roots of the people on these lands.  It is rooted in appreciating the creation, the weather, and the power of God.  Marda loved the time of meditation.  One would not call this activity prohibited work.
On Monday we will bring together an American living in Armenia who is here for a month to study reconciliation and peace, with a colleague who just returned from a short term mission construction project in Armenia.  That is relationship building.  Networking.

We met the Session and Committee of Townsend Presbyterian Church where we've started to worship.  James asks Marda about her business degree and seemed satisfied that he would have an ally.  He asks about the support from our home church and then he asked Ward what does "hymn helper" mean, followed by whether we approved of the choir.

We have new sponsors and they have given us freedom to do our work through the Loom (our house), clergy doing visitation, pastoral support, prayer, writing and art, community and cross community work.  How can we abstain from this kind of work?  We communicate with you and build new relationships with others in anticipation of the work.  We are in the planning and networking phase.  No one would call prayer work, maybe organizing prayer, but not praying so we are praying.  Listening to God is not work either, so we can read the Bible and meditate.
Ward and I play Bananagrams three or four times a week.  That is play.  We have received a Nintendo WII Keep Fit program compliments of a Parkinson's Research Project.  Now that is WORK.

The new work is the same work with a tweak.  The Bible says to be content in abase and abound.  Time will tell if we are successful to build on some literacy endeavors, build the local economy, and help this church or any of the churches we touch to change and grow.  The opportunity for development is wide open since the church is surrounded by acres of derelict land having been decimated by redevelopment which brought in a motorway (freeway)  between the church and downtown, and the demolition of many houses and factories.

We are finally taking a trip to the continent.  On June 7-11 we will go to Amsterdam to visit friends Roger and Inge Henderson and their family.  Then we will send in our passports and hope for speedy visas so we can resume the work in a prosperous way.

We hope that these newsletters give you a flavor of the outcomes that God will bring to fruition if we remain faith full.  Thank you for prayer and recent special gifts to pay for the visa process.  Please consider if you can commit to contribute monthly.

LIGHT.  We are grateful.

Email: wardstothers@cten.org
Phone: (028) 90 291986  From U.S. 01144.2890.291986

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