Last Saturday’s Fall Summit with Dr. Reggie McNeal was a blast! As usual First UMC, Mansfield did an outstanding job of hosting (highlighted by an awesome witness in music). Reggie framed his presentation around the idea that it is our job to bless people. Genesis 12:2 lays out the concept that we are blessed to be a blessing. “The missional church is the people of God partnering with God in the Lord’s redemptive mission in the world.” Teaching us to go beyond the basic metrics (but not to ignore those basic metrics!), McNeal said, “the scorecard is … is the world any different because of us.” He advised us that the best way to become involved in the community is through serving in the public school system. Friday, September 16th, Jolynn and I along with Katy Zeh (a staff member from the Board of Church and Society met with our Representative, Congresswoman Kay Granger, to thank her for her support of global health issues. As chair of the Appropriations subcommittee for State, Foreign Operations, and Related programs, she has been a major champion in the effort to fight killer diseases and especially in women’s health issues. (Congresswoman Granger is a United Methodist.) She remarked that people ask her “why do we give away all that money to foreign countries.” Noting that foreign aid is 1% of the federal budget, she listed two towering reasons to support such aid. 1. National Security and 2. Moral Responsibility. Speaking to the issue of national security she drew the connection between involvement in fighting disease and especially women’s health. People are much more likely to turn to violence if not helped. The mother’s health in the family system is especially critical. “If mom’s sick, the family is gone.” Our influence is an influence for peace in the world – “where we aren’t China is.” Speaking of the faith perspective Congresswoman Granger made the clear connection with biblical teachings like the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10) and our response. Her commitment was deep, faith-driven and heartfelt. I am thankful for her good work on this great focus issue of the United Methodist Church and of our country.