newsletter november 2008

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                                                                                                                                          November 20, 2008  - Vol.5 Issue 2
index
Be Carful What You Pray For
A Prayer
WFMZ Covers Our Stuggle
Our Stories
Exit Statements?
Join Our Mailing List!
beside still waters links
Dear Kork,
Pastor Kork Moyer
I am thoroughly embarrassed by how long it has been since writing a newsletter. It has been a whirlwind of a summer. We have been wrestling with cultural differences, even within the impoverished segments of our community. People living in the world of tent communities do not operate in the same dynamics as those who are down on there luck. Differences, even among one demographic.  We call these traumas. There is a way of conditioned thinking that prepares folks for failure, most often, from the beginning of their lives. Navigating some of their terrible conditioning to a redemptive end makes finding time to write very difficult. So, here are some of those stories.
 
Blessings,
Kork
Well, Be Carful What You Pray For...
Everyday at Still Waters seems like an adventure through the world of the first century Church.  Admittedly we don't march to the beat of the average drummer.  We seem to be a little more syncopated than downbeat or upbeat.
 
What I mean is that we set out to create a church for the poor and homeless that are our friends.  We stuck to our plans of how to go about that, believing in the approach, and that it was God's.  It was as close to the efforts of the early Church as I could understand, but isn't it funny how we can know all the nuances of study, and still not realize what those words mean.
We have not planted a normal church, as expressed by today's psychology, and philosophy of church planting, here in the US. We have come to understand that it is the poor that minister to us, conforming us to his image; forcing us out of our selfishness. We have become their servants as Christ is manifest in them. (Matthew 25)
 
In church planting today, planning for success and financial stability (called good stewardship) builds into the venture the idea of minimum risk, and risk management, monitored by a set of first line managers who insure capital investments pay returns and dividends.  Today's conventional wisdom is to learn all the methods (with an emphasis on "relevance"), create a plan, recruit core team members (and their money), execute that plan by meeting in a "target location," manage marketing techniques and branding strategies, recruit investors, grow, and create new managers who will...  Well you get the idea.  Only, the early Church was completely at risk; completely vulnerable; walking through avenues of faith, because all is lost if God doesn't show up. True to that calling, he also doesn't show up in the easiest places, and rarely shows up in comfortable places, in spite of his easy yoke.
 
I am not throwing stones (maybe pebbles) and I'm sure that business ideas do work for successful campaigns. However, we wanted first century Church.  We began with a simple premise, that following Jesus as closely as we could, would engage us in experiences that mirrored his and his first followers. We view his comment about the poor "always being with [us]" as a command.  After all, that is where I find him in the scriptures.
 
So, our church is completely immersed in the difficult problems of all of those suffering every trauma of societal, religious and financial poverty.  Normal for us is the schizophrenic, the mentally retarded, the addicted, the jobless, the homeless, and the difficult. We are quite nomadic in our function, not having a building to support, but encountering very complex financial difficulties, multiplied by all those we encounter.
 
Prisons, soup lines, tent communities, evictions, medical visits, simplemindedness, are common for us. I am not complaining (today), and when I slow down enough to notice-looking for Christ's presence, he isn't hard to find. We are friends with cops, legislators, councilmen, officials, and those who talk to themselves (well, sometimes yell at themselves).  We are in trouble most of the time. We find ourselves navigating someone's trauma every day.  We find ourselves hunted by high seated power, telling us we have no right to exist in their neighborhoods, and we have peace and cooperative fellowship from most of the churches around us.
 
So today, I am happy.  This has been a very good ride.  We received what the Lord has supplied and his mercies HAVE TO be new every morning for us.  I confess that I cannot return to a "normal" church existence, after walking so closely paralleled to the disciples' experience.  We truly find an affinity with what we read every week, because it is our experience.  There are days that we cannot go on.  The burden and the needs are just too great.  Like the psalmist we cry out.  When Christianity bigotry is leveled at our friends, instead of Christ's love, we are indignant. When the government wants to deny safety to the most vulnerable around us and threaten us, we imperfectly sway back-and-forth from fear to faith, and when the work is mundane (tiring and sleep deprived) staying awake to watch over the weak as they sleep in our shelter, we feel close to Jesus.
 
Christ has answered our prayers, and broke our hearts.
 
I wish everyone could experience walking with him. I don't know a better pilgrimage.
A Prayer
We have a friend who loves us the way that she can.  I feel honored when she is free enough to confide the most horrific episodes of her life to me.
 
She lived in a box in New York City for more years than she can remember, with her husband. Her life, as early as she could remember, was filled with the most disturbing kind of abuses you ever heard.  I am nauseated and repulsed by the extreme pain she was forced to endure. This stuff makes people react very differently, to every circumstance, than what you or I would consider normal; a type of primitive self preservation. Her moods swing from elation to abject fear in one instance.  Her impulses are more in control than her conscience. A word can conjure up the worst memories that become real to her within.  She is more like a wild animal than civilized; more like a child than an adult.
 
Her church experience has been people becoming exhausted in helping her, with comments like, "she just keeps making bad decisions," and "why can't she just act right?" She has 48 years of trying to survive in the most primitive ways.  She can't.
 
Another good friend rescued her. She took her into her home, managed an arsenal of drugs that would boggle the mind and keeps her alive, navigated doctor appointments, HIV treatments, and put up with the most difficult rejections of God's mercy and impulses that I've ever seen; and working tirelessly as Christ's representative in an 83 year old container.
 
We've needed to help to modify things for them, but we must not allow either of them to feel as though their great gains amount to loss.  We must work to keep our dear friends connected to each other and us.  We trust God that the strides that they made together, will move her ever closer to Christ's healing.
 
How much love will help her?  How much inconvenience will we need to endure to comfort her?  How much love will be needed to assure her of Christ's love? Isn't this who HE is?  Isn't this who we must become?
Announcements
WFMZ Covers Our Stuggle
Our shelter difficulties with the township have received some attention by one of our local television stations.  A church that is trying to offer their building to our Ministries at Main Street Shelter, was featured.  This is the same municipality who is denying the use of our host church's building for a stationary seasonal shelter.
 
Here is the link to the piece: http://wfmz.com/view/?id=574965

 
I needed to offer my response to the support and comments that we had received since, so please scroll through the comments that are posted there too.
Our Stories
 I just visited juvenile court again this month.  I needed to put a friend (one of our single mothers), at ease while we drove to an uncomfortable appointment.
 
This is a true story that I told her, and unfortunately, it is normal for us. (Please don't read this if you are faint of heart or prudish.)
Click HERE to read on...
Exit Statements?

We are debating whether we can continue a formal church.  Our needs are great and our income is small.  I hate begging for money.  It makes me feel like a TV evangelist.  But if we cannot find the necessary support, we will finish Still Waters.
 
We welcome occasional givers and are very appreciative of their support.  But we need a number of churches and individuals, who think that this is a necessary ministry, to adopt Still Waters as a missionary church to, and with "the least," with regular support.  Currently, we are supported by two churches, out of missionary offerings, and two families who are able.
 
We have two separate ministries; One is the Church were we live, teach, love, and disciple, and the other is the MAIN Street Shelter.  These are two separate accounts where money cannot cross over.  Funds that are allocated to the shelter, stay with the shelter ministry, while tithes and offerings for the church, go toward our other ministries, that also support our shelter work. 
 
Our Still Waters ministries consist of prison ministry, homeless ministry, the sick, the mentally ill, and those in poverty. These are the folks we share life with. We have tremendously high needs, and extremely low funds.
Some people will give to a shelter seeing the obvious needs, but will not give to a church. However, the shelter will cease, should the church close. It simply cannot be sustained and administered without the church.
 
Could you help us to continue?
 
Blessings to you.

If you could help, please click the Donate button, and please drop us a line letting us know your care for our least.

 

Still Waters home churches & worship centerDonate to Still Waters Ministries

256 South Hanover Street

Pottstown, PA 19465

 

Phone: 610-970-2444

Email:  ministry@besidestillwaters.net

 
Still Waters is a 501(c)(3) organization and your gift is tax deductible.
May the LORD bless and keep you, wishing you His presence in all that you do--as you walk beside still waters.
Peace,
Signature
Kork Moyer, Pastor
Still Waters

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Still Waters is a Grace Brethren Church located in Pottstown PA. We are a different and re-imagined way of being Church. Church is not a building, but God's loving people serving his creation.

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