Our service this morning brings to a close our summer Read-to-Feed
program. We are blessed to have with us Harold Burton, a retired
veterinarian in the area who was among the original "seagoing
cowboys" of Heifer International (along with our own Ellis Shenk).
To learn more about the Seagoing Cowboys, visit two resources by
Peggy Reiff Miller - her blog
www.seagoingcowboys.com . Her book is due out next April from
Brethren Press. At
www.heiferfoundation.org, you can learn about and give toward
the “Seagoing Cowboys Endowment” in honor of Ellis Shenk or Harold
Burton, or any of the many others who served.
We may not be
sailors, O Lord,
but we share a common boat.
The sea upon which we sail may be stormy or calm,
but through it all we look to you
- for you are Lord of all.
Hear our gratitude, as well as our cries for help.
enlarge our vision
and guide us to see from your perspective.
open our hearts to others
and instill in us your compassion.
lead us into deeper waters
and bring us to safe harbors.
help us to let go of our self-centeredness
and be found in you.
As we unfurl our sails of faith,
may your Holy Spirit be
the wind that propels us forward.
This we pray in the
name of the One
who traveled the sea of Gallilee,
calming storms and calling disciples
to let down their nets. Amen
written closer to the time (if not at the
our Tithes and Offerings
Jesus told a
story about the importance of taking care of those down on their
luck. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory,” he said, “all the nations will be gathered before him” and separated between
sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31-32).
In his parable, the “sheep” folks were those who cared, and the
“goat” folk were those who didn’t…
Goat, we have seen a different side of this animal, how –
like other gifts provided through
International – they can bring a blessing to a family and
a surrounding community. It’s all in the giving or, as Jesus put
it, “just as you did it to
the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me”
As you return your offering right now, I invite you to pay
attention to another story about the beginnings of this Heifer
Project, and those who helped these animals get from farms here to
distant people in need across the ocean.
Ushers, please guide our giving.
A Seagoing Cowboy Veterinarian’s Story
We are blessed this morning to have, not one, but two of those
seagoing cowboys with us. There is, of course, our own Ellis
Shenk. Some of you may remember
Reiff Miller, whose husband Rex was the administrator of
Spring many years ago. She has been compiling the stories of
these Heifer “cowboys,” to be included in a book she is writing
for Brethren Press, due to be published next April. In an email to
me this week, Peggy mentioned how much she has appreciated Ellis’
help. “He is very faithful at sending me cowboy obits when he sees
them,” she writes. “So glad you're keeping this history alive in
As for our guest, Harold Burton, he is a long-time veterinarian in
our area, and is an ardent supporter of
with a bit of their story to share. Let me allow Peggy to give a
word of welcome to this new friend through us. She writes:
“Harold, I'm thrilled that you will be taking part in the
service at Long Green Valley this morning! As one of the
veterinarians who tended livestock sent on ships to Europe
after World War II, you have a unique perspective on the
seagoing cowboy story that is a cherished piece of
Brethren history. Your recent introduction to and love for
Heifer International is an inspiration, and the
congregation is in for a treat. Wish I could be there,
too. I send my greetings to you and the congregation, as
Blessings to all, Peggy”
Harold. I/we look forward to what you have to share.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat
down, his disciples came to him.
Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs
is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for
they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be
called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and
persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in
the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
You are the salt of the earth; but if salt
has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?
It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and
trampled under foot.
are the light of the world.
A city built on a hill cannot be hid.
No one after lighting a lamp puts it under
the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all
in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may
see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
Revised Standard Version
copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States
Used by permission. All rights reserved
May this week be filled with God’s expected surprise.
Lord bless you.
Lord keep you.
Lord shine upon you.
give you grace