Archive for August, 2008

From Foster’s Daily Democratic:

“On average, rates are persistently higher in rural parts of the country relative to suburban areas and share similar rates with many central cities,” said Sarah Savage, a research assistant with the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

The state with the lowest rural child poverty rate in the nation is Connecticut, at 7.5 percent. New Hampshire has the second lowest, at 8.8 percent. The inner city child poverty rate, which includes Nashua and Manchester, in New Hampshire is at 17.5 percent.

Maine ranks 21st in the nation, with a rural and urban child poverty rate of 18.5 percent. The state with the highest rate of child poverty is Mississippi, at 35 percent in rural areas and 29 percent overall.

Savage said the Granite State’s relatively strong economy is the main reason its child poverty rates are low.

There is job availability and a variety of employment structures, Savage said.

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Hampshire was among the top 10 states with average unemployment rates under 4 percent from the July 2007 to July 2008 fiscal year.

Mississippi, meanwhile, had the nation’s second-highest average unemployment rate, 7 percent, for the 2007-08 fiscal year.

“Employment is stronger in New Hampshire than in many other parts of the country, and that could certainly play a part in the low rates of child poverty,” Savage said.


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Trevin at Kingdom People has a post on Bedtime Prayers with our Children:

Let me encourage you. Young children soak in everything we say to them. Don’t be frustrated if they’re not reciting the catechism by the age of 4. Don’t be frustrated if they seem to be disinterested when you pray. Don’t be frustrated by their lack of attention span.

Pray anyway.

Trevin gives a list of different ways to pray with kids. I’m not with any kids at night, but I think these are good ideas to incorporate any time. I might introduce his idea of praying the Apostles’ Creed with hand motions at my afterschool program!

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Matthew 18:3
And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 19: 13-14
Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Mark 9:37
“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Mark 10:13-15
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Luke 18:15-16
People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

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On vacation.

I’m on vacation until September, so posting here will be infrequent unless I am inspired.

Peace. Enjoy the rest of the summer!

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“To “be perfect” then is not so much a matter of seeking God with ardor and generosity, as of being found, loved and possessed by God, in such a way that his action in us makes us completely generous and helps us to transcend our limitations and react against our own weakness. We become saints not by violently overcoming our own weakness, but by letting the Lord give us the strength and purity of his Spirit in exchange for our weakness and misery. Let us not then complicate our lives and frustrate ourselves by fixing too much attention on ourselves, thereby forgetting the power of God and grieving the Holy Ghost.”

– Thomas Merton in Life and Holiness –

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Today I visited a church in West Philadelphia (in west Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days….) and I think it will be my home church in the area!

Over the last few weeks I have visited several churches and always left frustrated because these churches, although perfectly nice, usually made me NOT want to go to church.

The church I visited today seemed to fit many of my criteria for an ideal church:

1. Friendly – Yes, SOMEONE TALKED TO ME! Can you believe it? Two different people actually had a CONVERSATION with me. Not a “hi, how are you?” but an actual conversation. I can’t tell you how much this impressed me. I have been to countless churches where I didn’t get so much as eye contact, much less an actual conversation.

2. Egalitarian – A husband and wife co-pastor the church. CO-pastor. Not like, he’s the pastor and she supports him. They’re like EQUAL.

3. Justice-Oriented – The co-pastor was in Uganda doing research on micro-finance and stuff. Enough said.

4. A City church – I realized that churches in the ‘burbs, however nice and outward focused, just don’t “do it” for me. I love a church that is in the middle of the hustle and bustle of city life. Maybe it’s because I was spoiled in NYC and got to go to great city churches like Redeemer Presbyterian and Brooklyn Tabernacle.

5. Open to the Holy Spirit – I come from a Pentecostal tradition, and while I find it frustrating sometimes, I also really value the Holy Spirit and God’s presence and all that. This church has a prayer ministry and the pastor shared “pictures” that the prayer group got while praying. But, it wasn’t weird or hoocky or anything.

6. Good worship band – I guess this is superficial, but I appreciate good musicians and people who sing on key.

7. Community – It’s a small-ish church, but they seem intentional about people getting to know each other. This is good because I’m shy.

8. Good teaching/sermon – The sermon was intelligent and practical and BIBLICAL. Awesome. He also quote Miroslav Wolf.

It’s been almost eight months that I’ve been looking for a church community to become involved with and even if this church isn’t the “One” it’s given me hope that there are good fellowships out there. A good church is so hard to find!

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This is why I’m going to bed at 7:15pm tonight. It was an exhausting, but fun day.

All Camp Day.

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