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Today's date is Tuesday, November 21, 2017   

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Cassie Chenoweth
When I signed up to go to Reach Out Camp, I was having having one of those yes-man moments where you honestly don૮ow exactly what you堍 signing up for or why. I just figured that since my family wasn͊ traveling and I wasn't wasn৯ing to any other camps, Reach Out would give me something to do. Later, when I actually realized what I had signed up for, I was a bit scared. What would my peers at church think when they discovered the weird, quirky person I am and all the stupid things I do -at church camp, of all places. All they had seen of me was a smallish, quiet, smallish, behaved girl at church for a couple hours a week.

I envisioned the torturous week-long trip that my friends at school had described as their church camp. Just to think 㨵rch (and not New Life Church, but behaved, well-dressed, rich-people church where no one speaks out of turn or has mismatched clothes) for every hour of the day and almost whole 7 days. Luckily, Reach Out Camp was much, much more than that.

As we explored the ice cream parlors and beaches of Lakeside on the first day of the trip, I was in awe. The town of Lakeside might make camp worth it in itself. Furthermore, I started to bond with the other New Life kids from the first day. We never really clicked before. I was always the nerdy little white girl who was the youngest in the group, and I never made huge effort to become friends with anyone else in my age group. But from the first day of Reach Out, I had five new friends, along with many other campers. On the third day, we were going on a mission trip in random groups. This was, well, a challenge, because as most of my friends know, when you first meet me I can be a bit shy. Especially if Iനe youngest in the group by two years and the other group members happened to extraordinarily shy. But miracles can happen, and this time they did. I got the best possible mission (in my opinion) and I even became friends with some of the girls in my mission group. Working with little kids and toddlers is just my thing. I was thrilled when I found out that I was going to be working with mentally handicapped 3- and 4-year-olds. It was deeply touching how happy the kids were, not only the young ones, but the older kids who had autism, Downs Syndrome and other disorders. The kids were adorable. I couldnॶen tell most of the younger kids apart from any normal toddler. As I told my mission group as we prayed allowed, 郎 these kids are here because they ᶥ problems learning,⵴ I think they堰erfect, just like You created them.羚nt>
 

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How faith helped uncover a 'golden voice'
By John Blake, CNN
By now, millions of Americans have heard from Ted Williams. He's "the homeless man with the golden voice," a panhandler whose stunning vocal skills were recorded for an impromptu video that's netted at least 4 million views on YouTube.
 

But what about the good Samaritan with the video camera?
What made him stop for Williams on a dreary, overcast day when scores of people ignored the African-American homeless man during the peak of the Christmas season? It turns out that Doral Chenoweth III, the man who filmed Williams, has a story of his own.

Videographer has played this part before
Five weeks ago, Chenoweth was driving to Lowe's with his wife, Robin, when he spotted a thin man with wild, unruly hair at an intersection. The man held a cardboard sign that read, "I have a God-given gift of voice. ..." Chenoweth stopped and talked briefly with Williams, but he couldn't stay long because he had company at home.

He returned, however, a week later. "Hey, I'm going to make you work for your dollar," Chenoweth said as he rolled down his window and took out his flip camera. "Let me hear you say something."  What comes out of Williams' mouth is startling. It's a rich, baritone that doesn't match his craggy exterior at all. His enunciation is crisp, his tone smooth as suede.

Williams isn't holding that cardboard sign anymore. After Chenoweth posted the video, it went viral. Williams did interviews on national television and radio. He's received several jobs offers, including one that comes with a home. A reunion with his 92-year-old mother is being arranged.

But the other character in this contemporary parable had played this part before.
"The first time we dated, he stopped and gave a blanket from the back of his car to a man who was homeless," said Robin Chenoweth. "I thought to myself, if he has this kind of compassion for a man on the street, he's going to make a great husband and father."
 

Chenoweth is paid to notice people. He's a multimedia producer for The Columbus Dispatch newspaper in Ohio. He said he stopped because he thought Williams might make a good video.
 

Still, he wasn't so sure after the filming. He said he sat on the video for five weeks until he finally decided to use it because it was a slow news week. Then he watched the video take off. "I never anticipated this," he said. "A week ago, he was living in a tent behind a station in the middle of December, and now he's being flown to New York and his video is everywhere."

Looking through the lens of faith
But the reason Chenoweth stopped goes deeper than his job.
It's "standard operating procedure" for him, he said, to stop and talk to people who are homeless, whether he's carrying a camera or not.
"It's part of my faith," he said after some prodding about his motivations. "You may not be able to help someone with money, but you can at least say hello, how you doing, and look at them."

About 14 years ago, Chenoweth said he was assigned to photograph a homeless ministry at New Life United Methodist Church in downtown Columbus. He was so impressed by the ability of the 50-member congregation to help the homeless that he and his wife joined.

The church's pastor said that Chenoweth routinely invites people who are homeless to the church for meals and medical attention. He's also photographed people on the street and displayed their photographs to emphasize their humanity, said the Rev. Jennifer Kimball Casto, New Life's pastor.

When asked if she was surprised by Chenoweth's action, Casto said: "Absolutely not. Doral has a special heart for people who are homeless and in need."

                                                               Doral Chenoweth III, his wife, Robin, and their children                                                       Cassie and Kurtis went on a church mission trip to Tanzania.

Chenoweth's concern for people goes beyond Columbus, and even the United States. His wife said they are regular Habitat for Humanity volunteers. They've also taken seven trips to Africa with their two children, Cassie, 12, and Kurtis, 10, to serve impoverished communities. Chenoweth has documented many of the trips on his website.

"He's taken me all over the world," Robin Chenoweth said. "He's a fabulous husband. It's the best decision of my life to be with him."

Chenoweth sounds thrilled to see where the new-found fame will take Williams.
He had a reunion with Williams after their video went viral. A local radio station interviewed Williams, and Chenoweth was there for the interview.  "We had a big hug and shook hands," Chenoweth said. "He almost cried when he saw me."
 

Chenoweth was watching a local radio station interview Williams when he saw something that touched him. "He still has my business card," Chenoweth said. "He's been carrying it the whole five weeks since I gave it to him. He was carrying it right in his fingertips."

Filming a visual parable
The Rev. Tom Long, a professor of preaching at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, watched the video of Chenoweth's encounter and saw a visual parable unfold. It reminded him of Jesus' parable of the good Samaritan.
 

In the parable, a Samaritan stops to help a man wounded by robbers after two Jewish religious leaders -- a Levite and a priest -- pass the man by. The story was shocking because the hero was a villain -- Samaritans were a group of people hated by many 1st century Jews (imagine the parable of the Good Crack Dealer).

Chenoweth didn't see Williams as "visual white noise" to tune out, Long said. "He sees possibilities others don't see and acts on them and, wow, here we go," Long said.
 

Long said there's more to the story than the importance of treating people in need with compassion because miracles may happen. "His (Chenoweth) experiences expose what is already true about people, that even a homeless person who doesn't have a golden throat is nonetheless a child of God."

Casto, Chenoweth's pastor at New Life, said Chenoweth taught another lesson with his encounter with a panhandler. "We are all broken in some way, but we are also gifted in some way," she said. "Mr. Williams is a perfect example of that."

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"A Child Shall Lead Them"                                                                by Kathy Riblet

                              

Keyshawn, sitting in his stroller while his Mom shopped and shopped, had grown increasingly tired and agitated. He was miserable and looked it. He had a very bad cold and was in dire need of having someone pay attention to his discontent, a runny nose taken care of, alligator tears dried, a soaked diaper changed and wet clothes replaced with dry ones. That was the 妯reԨis is the 津r튉 several of our volunteers came to his rescue with a little TLC (which was rewarded with a big smile).
 
Now, I know itࢥen said, 鴒s more blessed to give than receive͊ however, take another look at the picture. Iயt sure who was more blessed at this moment! A picture really is worth a thousand words!!!
 
An exciting part of working in the clothing room is not knowing what the day will hold, and, yet, knowing as we open the volunteer door at New Life church, an opportunity will present itself to show the love of Jesus. Sometimes it೩mply ⡣ticing random acts of kindness튉 as we interact with our neighbors and volunteers.
 
Words that challenge me, that haunt me, that guide me, that motivate me, that inspire me좲>  
                           Love God, love your neighbor as yourself.

                 Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

                        Don਩de your light under a bushel  basket.

                  No gift or talent is too small to honor the Christ child.

      When you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.
 

In the ministry at New Life clothing room, we don͊ have clients or customers or strangers - we are all neighbors, children of God. Caring for and welcoming our neighbors is not about handouts or pity or charity or even basic politeness - itࡢout respect for thedignity of others, including those in need.
 
How do I feel about my volunteer time at New Life??? Two words come to mind: 'useful' (remembering that God has no hands but our hands) and 'joyful' (knowing I will have many opportunities to connect with our neighbors in a caring, positive way that reflects God࡬l encompassing love). I believe a universal need we all share with our neighbors is to belong to someone or something outside ourselves and here, in God͊ house, in New Life୩nistries, our need is met.

 

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Partner Churches Express Reasons Why they Support New Life                                               

                                        

Our church is blessed by its partnership with New Life UMC in many ways. I believe that New Life is a representation of true Christianity at its best. In accepting Jesus as our savior, we are called to follow in his footsteps. New Life UMC does this as it ministers to those who are truly in need. Jesus gave us the commandment to love one another, so that the world will know we are His. This is what New Life is all about and why we support its mission.

The various ministries at New Life give us the opportunity to show God͊ love to all our brothers and sisters whoever they are and wherever they happen to be. The breakfast ministry at New Life is one in which we have the privilege of serving guests who come for nourishment for their body and for their soul.

Why do we support New Life? We are called to love our neighbors, work for justice and be the hands and feet of Christ in the world.  We are blessed to have this opportunity to serve, share and learn from our homeless brothers and sisters.

The ministry of New Life fills a huge gap in our community, in serving the needs of the homeless in the difficult realities on a daily basis. This is evident in the physical help of food, clothing and medical care, but even more importantly,  in the area of prayer and the Good News of Godଯve and care for each individualﵠ personally personify that message in your relationships with so may guests of  New Life.

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                     A ﵮg Disciple䠔houghts on Homelessness

Hello, readers, my name is Destiny Ashley (age 11) and I go to New Life United Methodist Church. This is where I started learning about Street Speech [street newspaper].

I don଩ve on the streets. But I do experience a lot and I do see a lot of homeless people everywhere especially in the city of Columbus. It is so crazy no matter if you堩n the Terris, Milo, or Short North 튉 anywhere. It࡬ways around you. I know you see the homeless people, the dirty streets they have to live on. Itயt fun. I wouldn෡nt it and neither would you. Or do you hear the dogs barking, the gun shots, the police sirens they have to hear right up against their cars? Or not only are they homeless they have no food, nothing. Yes they may have some little money to go to the Thrift Store after selling pop cans they get off the streets but that is it.

So think the next time you go to make fun of how someone has to live or where they have to live, or even what they look like, or what they have to wear because you wouldn෡nt anyone to crack on you if you were to be homeless.

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