Christmas Eve 2009 – Special Events

Christmas Holy Night Star of Bethlehem - Jesus Christ is born

O’ Holy Night

Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior— yes, the Messiah, the Lord — has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!


Thank-you to all my readers of the Missonlog blog.  Hope you all have a blessed Christmas and joyous New Year! –

<>< Andy Coats

Follow me  @canayjun on Twitter

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward everyone.

::

Galaxy

homelessness homeless #whyhomeless

home-less
Advertisements

The Old Man and the Storm – Hurricane Katrina documentary – Jan 6th on PBS

Mr. Herbert Gettridge

Mr. Herbert Gettridge

About a true hero of  Hurricane Katrina: Mr. Herbert Gettridge – airing January 6, 2009 and online. Six months after Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, producer June Cross came across 82-year-old Herbert Gettridge working alone on his home in the lower Ninth Ward, a neighborhood devastated when the levees broke in 2005. Over the next two years, Cross documented the Gettridge family’s story. After a long wait, the film  – The Old Man and the Storm – will air on PBS to tell the story of perseverance against all odds, not the least of which is the bungling of recovery efforts by state and federal agencies.

Project417’s Andy Coates came across Mr. Gettridge in the Lower Ninth ward in April of 2006, eight months after the storm hit. Like Cross he found Mr. G, as he became affectionately known, working by himself – the only home-owner for blocks around struggling to clean-up his property and repair his hurricane ravaged home.  I visited him at his home last month returning from our Texas Hurricane Ike relief trip.

I first visited New Orleans in March 2006, eight months after Katrina, to volunteer for two weeks with the Salvation Army. Our director Joe Elkerton had been a first responder in September of ’05 just after the storm. When I saw the devastation of the city and the snail’s pace at which recovery was taking place, I decided to stay for the next six months and organize volunteer teams through Project417 to help with the clean-up. Over the course of that stay, Mr. Herbert Gettridge, Andy and Paul, July 2006almost a hundred volunteers came down to work on projects with me – three of the work sites were properties owned by the Gettridge family in the Lower Ninth Ward of Orleans Parish, New Orleans.  Everyone who met Mr. Herbert Gettridge realized he was no victim  – 82 years old, he was one of the first returning residents of the Lower 9th – and was working single-handed to fix his home. His mission, to rebuild it so his wife, staying with family in Madison, Wisconsin, could rejoin him in the home they had built together more than fifty years ago.  Many faith based volunteer teams pitched in to help Mr. Gettridge re-build – and that story is told in June Cross’ film on PBS . (It was so wonderful to be able to visit with both Mr. and Mrs. Gettridge in their renovated home last month – what he’d been wishing and working for so long).

Almost without exception, everywhere in New Orleans re-building was taking place, hard working church volunteers were making a difference.  Of course there were a multitude of recovery teams, not just faith-based, that came to New Orleans to fill the vacuum left by the total absence of any organized government efforts – including groups like the local Common Ground who adopted the Lower Ninth,  and young hard-working AmeriCorps youth were sweating it out all across the gulf. (Project417 hosted AmeriCorps teams at two Lower Ninth sites).

Be sure to watch the story of a true American hero – The Old Man and the Storm – on PBS January 6th at 9pm (check local listings).  And when you’re done, consider coming with Project417 back to the Gulf and continue the re-building that is still going on. We want to get a fund set up to build new homes on two properties owned by Mr. Gettridge in the Lower Ninth. All across the Lower Ninth are still homes that have not been touched since Katrina 3 1/2 years ago. In Mississippi, from Waveland to Biloxi, re-construction continues – house foundations still lay bare.  Following Hurricane’s Gustav and Ike this fall, Project417 is hosting teams in Galveston County, Texas – the devastation is on the scale of that visited by Katrina.  The people of the Gulf coast need you, their neighbors, to come and help them.

read more at PBS | Share with your Friends  digg story

Relief arrives to hurricane-ravaged Haiti

Volunteers with OBI post eyewitness accounts from hurricane slammed Haiti after Ike Gustav …

OBI – Operation Blessings International is one of the organizations Project417 partnered with in New Orleans during Katrina. Our friend Jessica served with them this summer when they visited with Mr. Herbert Gettridge in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. We had helped gut-out and renovate three Katrina destroyed homes for the Gettridge family in 2006. OBI have active disaster-relief programs worldwide and are very busy this year with the hurricane season – Ike, Gustav and Hannah. The read more link will take you to their site where they have postings from volunteers currently in Beaumont, Texas and Port-au-Prince, Haiti for Hurricane Ike relief and in also in China following the recent typhoon.

Don’t forget to support Project417 and help the victims of Hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

read more | digg story

Breaking News: Haiti Earthquake Relief

Paris Hilton and Project417 – Unconfirmed Connections

Do you see Paris Hilton in the photo?

Do you see Paris Hilton in the photo?

Paris Hilton did not announce today her intentions to leave the USA and join the non-profit organization Project417 located in Toronto. The celebrity heiress, oft noted as being famous for being famous, is unlikely to confirm the unfounded rumors, first published on Facebook, that she would leave the media spotlight behind to join Project417 to help the homeless. A spokesperson for Project417, Andy Coates, would neither confirm nor deny the reports, but is quoted as saying, ” Paris Hilton?“. It is uncertain at this time as to the impact this may or may not have on the U.S. Presidential race, global warming, or the price of a barrel of crude oil.

The reports may be linked to the upcoming visit by Andy Coates of Project417 to New Orleans. Andy is visiting New Orleans at the end of August 2008 to take part in ceremonies commemorating Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the U.S. gulf coast on August 29th, 2005. Andy as part of a Project417 team volunteered for New Orleans relief and disaster recovery efforts from April to October of 2006 and worked on re-building projects in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Lakeview and Gretna. Andy headed up several volunteer teams from the Salvation Army Louisiana Recovery Command and Americorps as well as teams from Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton.

The re-building projects consisted primarily of helping the extended family of Mr. Herbert Gettridge renovate three homes in the almost totally destroyed Lower 9th Ward of Orleans Parish. He also lead teams working on renovating the home of Mr. Lionel Worthy in the Lower 9th (situated directly across the street from the Katrina Memorial erected in 2006), as well as a house in Lakeview adjacent to the breached 17th Street Canal owned by the elderly Mrs. Aline Dastague.

During the upcoming visit, in addition to taking part in the city’s memorial events, Andy will visit with the people he and the other volunteers helped to see the changes two more years have brought to the still recovering communities. Andy has learned that there is still work needed at a home owned Mr. Gettridge. The property has historical heritage site status as the former home of Sister Gertrude, a local artist and musician, and still needs to be placed back on its foundations. In addition, he will visit with the local New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity worksites and communicate with the Fuller Center for Housing (Millard Fuller is the founder of Habitat). The end purpose of the visit is to decide upon a worksite for a Project417 volunteer team who will head down to New Orleans later this fall (November).

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Ok, so this had nothing to do with Paris Hilton, but at least you read the note. You can help by making a donation today to Project417. Visit the Project417 Page here on Facebook or go to http://www.project417.com

Digg this! || More about Paris Hilton

An Improbable God

Does improbable mean impossible? Commentary on Richard Dawkins’ article, The Improbability of God.

DNA Strand

DNA Strand

In “The Improbability of God”, by Richard Dawkins [ http://www.positiveatheism.org/writ/dawkins3.htm ], he begins “…Much of what people do is done in the name of God. Irishmen blow each other up in his name. Arabs blow themselves up in his name. Imams and ayatollahs oppress women in his name. Celibate popes and priests mess up people’s sex lives in his name….bloody crusades, torturing inquisitions, mass-murdering conquistadors, culture-destroying missionaries, …” and so on in the same vein.

This is nothing new in the tired old dogma of atheists, secularism and so-called rationalist thinkers. But if we apply rational thought and logic to the statements do they reflect universal truths – do they even hold up under the scrutiny of the scientific method?

“Much of what people do is done in the name of God…”, raises the question – How much? 80%? 50% or 20%? Can this be quantified? Is it even factual? There is no doubt as to the veracity of his statements about zealots and extremists “blowing themselves up”(and other innocents). It does not necessarily follow that all of this dysfunction and violence stems from Dawkins’ conveniently undefined “In the Name of God” principle. As a matter of fact, it is a view based in large part on an increasingly distant historical past, which is not mirrored in the postmodern age.

Let me state early on my opposing opinion to statements such as these by pointing out the flaw or fallacy in each.

1. Some people believe in a benevolent, loving God. Some people who say they believe this are violent and/or genocidal. Therefore, God can not exist, because if God did exist, He would not “allow” such atrocities in his name…

There is no logic in this statement, even though it is the worldview of many so called rational thinkers. There is a terrible truth in the atrocities committed by humankind upon each other, but this in itself does not negate the existence of a godhead or deity.

2. Things done in “the name of God” or religion, are universally bad for humanity and the source of all that is wrong with the world…

Once again, the flawed logic, while sounding reasonable, has no real basis in fact and the current state of world affairs. What if we substituted some other words for God in the statement. Are there atrocities committed in the name of money and commerce? In the name of oil or energy? In the name of secular politics and power? In the name of rational socio-economic systems such as communism, socialism or modern democracy? Who has been responsible for more misery and death in the world? Thousand year old crusaders and inquisitors, or our own modern day atheists Stalin and Hitler? Who killed more native peoples in North America- missionaries or railroad builders, cattle barons and fur traders? Dawkins claims in his article that his arguments are not circular, but only “seem to be circular”. Mainly because the more you observe the statements in light of facts the more Dawkins’ truths bend until the beginning meets the end like some voracious Ouroborosian serpent.

3.  “There is no reason for believing that any sort of gods exist and quite good reason for believing that they do not exist and never have”…

Does this type of statement really stand up under the lens of scientific method or rationalism itself? Logic dictates that you can not posit a negative. That is to base your fundamental principle on the negation of another. “God does not exist”, for example. Then to proceed to prove the same is basically flawed. (more on this in a moment) A belief is in something – not the absence of something…

read more | digg story

Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday – Calls for Rich to Help Poor

Mandela Turns 90

Mandela Turns 90

Nelson Mandela, the man who ended apartheid in South Africa, marked his 90th birthday, calling for the rich to do more for the poor. “If you are poor, you are not likely to live long,” he said at his house in the Eastern Cape. He said:”There are many rich people… who can share with those not so fortunate who have not been able to conquer poverty”.

I’m so thankful for Mr. Mandela. I grew up from a young child all the while Mr. Mandela was imprisoned for his opposition to apartheid in South Africa. When he was released from prison, became South Africa’s first black President and put an end to the racist apartheid policy, the world became a better place. It gave me hope, that one person can rise above oppression and overcome injustice if they just hold on to their dreams. Ending apartheid was not just a South African phenomenon – it changed the world by shining light on the darkness that is racism and promoting peaceful multicultural co-existence.

Nelson Mandela, showed today, even on his 90th birthday, that his fight for justice is not over. Once again, even though he spoke of conditions in South Africa, the principal is universal throughout the world: the rich must do more to help the poor. This applies not only to individuals, but also to countries – countries like Canada who have been blessed with an abundance of resources and wealth. Just as Mr. Mandela says of his own country, so Canada has riches we should “share with those not so fortunate to conquer poverty.”

read more | digg story

Reaction to Iran Missile Tests

To read the rest of this post, visit the Commentary page by clicking the page link above…

Peace through Total Disamament! …

%d bloggers like this: