Thursday, May 31, 2018

Whose Marvelous And Spacious Mansion Is This Anyway? A Parable

The builder-in-chief is the Son of God and a master carpenter,
"Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything."
(Hebrews 3:1–4 NIV)

Once upon a time, a Triune Being of unimaginable wealth and beneficence created a huge mansion with many, many rooms. This was not only designed for the sake of the Builder, but as a place of hospitality and welcome for homeless and dispossessed humanity everywhere.

The place soon began to fill with grateful tenants from all corners of the globe, from many backgrounds and of all races and nationalities. At first they celebrated a joyful bond of unity with each other due to their common dependance on the Owner and Builder, and for the sheer gratitude they felt for all the benefits they enjoyed.

As time went on, however, as the Triune One went about welcoming new members from around the world into this place of refuge and nurture, some residents began to undertake some interior remodeling of the mansion based on their own designs for how the house should be divided and arranged. Thus entire sections of this once beautiful house of many rooms began to be partitioned off for people of like mind, one following another, then another. Over time, the house became a confusing labyrinth of passages and partitions, each with labels and with subcontracts and subletting agreements for different groups of residents who suspected others of not being of worthy residents.

The Lord of the house, seeing this, was incensed. "This home was dedicated as a house of prayer and welcome for all nations, but you have made it a den of division!"

In the end, it was made clear that such divisions would not stand, and that the house was to be restored in keeping with its original blueprint. Thus residents were recruited from all corners of the house to assist in the work.

Some of my inspiration for this post came from blogger and author Frank Viola.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Four Major Obstacles To Raising A Million $$ At Our Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale

As a part of an initiative last year to increase funds raised at our Virginia Relief Sale for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), some of us came up with a plan to solicit cash donations in addition to the money raised from food and auction sales.

In a moment of madness a year ago, I even suggested we could raise $1 million, more than double our usual total, by having 5,000 wage earning Sale attendees (of the over 10,000 total persons who come each year) plan ahead to spend an average of $200 each and to add an average of another $200 as an outright gift. That would, for many, be a doable $400 gratitude offering, less than 1% of their income for most.

Realistically, I was quite sure that would never happen, since most would feel they could never afford this much, which would require others to make much larger investments to achieve a $400 average. But I remain convinced that we have way more than enough wealth in our community to be able to do that and far more. Compared to the needs of most of the recipients of MCC assistance, we are rich beyond imagination.

As it turned out, the Sharing Our Surplus (SOS) giving table brought in over $40,000 at the Sale, which many felt was a good start, and in fact amounted to over 10% of the total Sale money raised last year.

But that still represents only a fraction of what a community like ours could do. We could easily raise multiple millions without it causing any actual hardship on our part.

So why is that kind of beyond-the-tithe outpouring of generosity not likely to happen? I can think of  four possible reasons:

1) Our Sense of Personal Entitlement

It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to persuade people like us to voluntarily give up our power and privilege.  That doesn't mean that we can't be motivated to give more generously, but only as long as it doesn't diminish our assets or reduce what we have saved for a rainy day or for our retirement. With the help of our financial advisors, we carefully plan our giving so we will continue to add to our net worth every year of our earning life, and not to subtract from it.

But that level of giving on the part of wealthy North American and European Christians will never make more than a dent in world problems like hunger, disease and homelessness. In the Mark 8 account of Jesus feeding the masses, he asks his followers to make available whatever they had, creating a miracle of generosity that not only allowed everyone to have enough but to enjoy 7 baskets full of good bread left over.

2) Our Competing Spending Wants and "Needs"

At some level most of us are exceedingly generous givers, but we do the bulk of our giving at WalMart, at the local mall, on Amazon, at gourmet restaurants, at local car dealerships and at travel locations near and far. And most of us have dreams of other future investments we want to make as soon as we have the means, a lakeside cabin, new living room furniture, an expansive renovation project, a wished for business venture, an RV for a retirement travel, etc., adding to our ever expanding wish lists.

3) Competing Appeals From Other Good Causes

It's hard to generate relief funds from congregations in the middle of their raising millions for building programs or who are trying to pay down their debts on past capital projects. Church-related institutions like schools and retirement communities are likewise forever adding to or renovating their facilities at levels that require millions upon millions of dollars. Compared to the needs of refugees living in tents in the heat of summer and in the cold of winter, appeals for air conditioning and other renovation and expansion needs promoted by our church-related institutions always seem to deserve the greater priority. These 'needs' are close at hand and involve people and causes we have a greater sense of connection with and loyalty to. Besides, many have development departments that are into full time fundraising, something refugee communities don't have.

4) Lack of First Hand Awareness of Needs

I have no doubt that if homeless refugee families were desperately fleeing into our area from surrounding states and setting up makeshift shelters in nearby fields, that we would be mobilizing all possible resources to help them. Seeing real people by the thousands having to live in tents and relying on food and water brought in by outside aid groups would move us to a far different level of response. Or one night spent in such circumstances ourselves due to displacement and the loss of all of our possessions by flood, fire, war or some other disaster would completely change our perspective.

But do we have to have something terrible to happen to us in order for God to get our attention?

This summer some members of our community are taking part in one of several two-week mission trips to refugee sites in Jordan and Turkey. We should each arrange to meet with some of them afterwards in order to get a better up-close-and-personal look at the plight of refugees living in today's versions of concentration camps.

In light of the four obstacles mentioned, it may take something like the Pentecostal power of a violent rushing wind and of heads on fire with the Holy Spirit to break us out of the grip of our culture of wealth and ease. As someone has noted, the good news is that God has all of the treasure needed to feed and house everyone. The bad news is that God doesn't normally pry it out of our wallets and our bank accounts.

Then there are crises in places like Yemen, Myanmar and parts of Africa where conditions may be even worse.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Being Smart And Being Wise Are Not The Same

Over the past three months I had the rewarding experience of teaching a "Bible class" at our house with our two local grandsons age 8 and 11. Their church meets nearby, and this was an opportunity for me to have some special time with them during their usual Sunday School hour.

We called this a "Basic Bible Knowledge" course, one introducing them to more of the Bible's stories as well as adding inspiring stories of believers since who have been impacted by the Bible's message. I emphasized that this was not only about helping them become more smart about how to know what's in the Bible, but to help them to become more wise in learning to live in ways that would cause the least regret and result in the greatest happiness.

Among the items on their final open book "exam" were the following:

1. Write the most important commandment in the Bible, and the one Jesus said we should consider equally important (We stressed these often as key themes in scripture). 

2. Number these in the order they appear in the Bible: ___Abraham and Sarah    ___Ruth     ___Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego    ___Joshua  ___Adam and Eve  ___Isaac  ___Joseph  ___Jesus   ___Jacob (Israel)  ___King David  ___Noah   (These were among the stories we reviewed)

3. Arrange these in the order they are found in the Bible: Stories of Hebrew history (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I and II Samuel, etc)  ___Books of Poetry (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes)  ___the Jesus Stories And Teachings (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)  ____Moses Stories and Laws (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) ____The Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, etc.)

4.  In your own words, what is the difference between being smart and being wise?

Some of the above were a little challenging for young men of this age, but we they were great students and easily passed their "test" with a little help. 

I especially like the 11-year-old's answer to the last question: 

"Being smart is like you know a lot. Being wise is like you know what is right and wrong and you do the right thing."

I couldn't have said it better.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

On Never Calling Human Beings "Animals"

God clearly has a heart for the alien and stranger.
Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. He said, “I am an alien and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.” 
Genesis 23:3-4

Moses said, "I have become an alien in a foreign land." 
When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.  
Leviticus 19:33-34

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the aliens residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.  
Deuteronomy 10:17-19

But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing. When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow.  When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.  
Deuteronomy 24:18-22

Cursed be anyone who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow.  
Deuteronomy 27:19 

At this, she (Ruth, a Moabite) bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you (Boaz, a prominent Israelite) should notice me, a foreigner?"
Ruth 2:10

Then all the elders and those at the gate said, "May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel."
Ruth 4:11

David (Ruth's grandchild) praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, "We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors."  
I Chronicles, 29:15a

The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and widow.  
Psalm 146:9

Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.” And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”  
Isaiah 56: 3, 6, 7

If you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will dwell with you in this place.  
Jeremiah 7:5-7

You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household.   
Ephesians 2:19

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 
Hebrews 13:2

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Pentecost: A Royal Preview Of What's To Come

How many languages, how many ethnicities, are found in most of our churches?

"When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.

"There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were thunderstruck. They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, “Aren’t these all Galileans? How come we’re hearing them talk in our various mother tongues?

Parthians, Medes, and Elamites;
Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia,
    Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
    Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene;
Immigrants from Rome, both Jews and proselytes;
Even Cretans and Arabs!

They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works!”  
(Acts 2:1-8, the Message)

"After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb."
(Revelation 7:9a, NIV)

In today's celebration of the birthday of the Christian movement, I'm impressed by how God's Spirit brings into deep oneness diverse people from all over the world. To the extent that today's churches, by contrast, are made up of mostly of people of the same race, language and national origin, we are falling short of reflecting God's original and ultimate intent.

If we believe God is all about bringing people together in an eternal reunion, we need to begin living into that reality now. It's certainly clear that at the annual Pentecost harvest festival described above, God is birthing a new community with this end in mind, a rainbow of people of all colors and with all kinds of differences. We need to get with the program.

In the Acts 2 account we see urban Romans at fellowship with desert dwellers in Arabia. unsophisticated Cretans with straight-laced Jews, thousands of men and women, young and old, representing three continents and speaking multiple languages. It's hard to imagine any more unlikely candidates for becoming a united family of faith. 

And yet it happened, a divine sign of the coming age.

We've lost sight of that. We tend to operate in ways that wedge us further apart, and along the same fissure lines that are so dividing and subdividing the world in every more polarized ways. Sadly, the church has become as worldly as the world around it in this respect, and appears to be far from becoming the diverse but unified colony of heaven God meant it to be.

Today we need to re-envison a kind of future that is all about that grand, eternal reunion, while we celebrate the grand birth of a movement that is a 'pre-union', a living and loving sign of God's future world.
Rachel Stoltzfus, 1925-2017

Meanwhile, last Sunday marks a year since the death of Rachel Stoltzfus, for many years a beloved and faithful member of our house church. She and her late husband always had a least one international student sharing their home, and for a decade after his passing, she continued to be a living expression of God's hospitality toward students from all over the world.

She never got to travel abroad, and never even saw the ocean until just a few years before she died, but God brought the world to her door, and moved by the Spirit of Pentecost, she just invited everyone in.

May we all learn to do the same.

These were among the people whose lives Rachel touched.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

15 More Signs We May Have Heart Problems

After reading my recent post on "7 Signs You May Need To Have Your Heart Examined" three men at one of our state prisons came up with some of their own to add to the list:

1. When we would rather keep people incarcerated for 30, 40, 50 years or more costing taxpayers billions of dollars annually. Wouldn't it be better to provide prisoners an education and occupational skills and release them at the earliest possible time? No one who is returning to society should be held over twenty consecutive years in prison.

2. When billions of taxpayer dollars are spent on the criminal justice system while schools are falling apart and in need of modernization. Each Junior and Senior High School student should have access to a school computer to use for their school work. 

3. When fear becomes more important than progress.

4. When God becomes the last option instead of the first thought! ("Prayers")

5. When a state agency turns a blind eye to sexual assaults and rape in its prisons because it is too costly to build individual shower stalls with curtains (for the ones with community showers).

6. When our lawmakers (delegates, governor, senators) want our votes during election time but when one of their constituent's write them, they do not respond.

7. When church leaders and members turn their backs on people when they seek their help, whether murderers, sex offenders or other returning citizens.

8. When individuals who have been incarcerated for a sex crime (guilty or innocent) are banished from society instead of providing the individual treatment throughout their incarceration, as well as a place to safely live and employment when released.

9. When society requires an individual guilty or innocent of a sex crime to be punished for the rest of their life by being posted on a sex offender registry.

10. When the majority of society is filled with hatred instead of forgiveness.

11. When you refer to a person, or a group of people, as something other than PEOPLE, it makes it more socially acceptable to treat them as less than human. Example: (offender, sex offender, suspect, prisoner, felon, etc.).

12. When human values/life costs less than the price of a gallon of gas and is only valued more when election time is near.

13. When we turn a blind eye to the needs and cries of a fallen nation just to secure a vote.

14. When we invest more money, time and resources in locking up your youth then we do in building more schools and creating more programs to educate our children, to build more minds.

15. When there are not enough computers in schools for teaching all students. Some Junior and Senior High schools in Virginia only have one small computer per classroom. This is unacceptable in this technology age.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Making Christian Unity A Top Priority: An Appeal To Virginia Mennonite Conference

I submitted the following to various Virginia Conference leaders following our Winter Delegate session, where we covered a lot of hopeful as well as potentially divisive issues:

Dear Conference Leader,

In light of ongoing issues raised by member congregations that threaten to divide us, could we put some of our policy and polity deliberations on pause in favor of launching a year of prayer and discernment around a renewal of Christian unity in the church?

As one expression of this, we could have as our theme for this summer's Assembly something like "The Supernatural Power of One--One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism," with a wide spectrum of lay and ordained leaders speaking on topics such as the following:

1. "One Gardener, One Vine and Many Branches," 

2. "One Temple, One Foundation and Many Rooms"

3. "One Bridegroom, One Bride, and Many Celebrations"

4. "One Body, One Head, and Many Members" 

Each of the above Biblical metaphors suggest that the church is not a collection of separate "branches" or "body parts" put together and kept together by human design, but a miraculous creation solely of God's design. As such, we need to be encouraged to relinquish our sense of ownership and management of Christ's church, and instead see ourselves as a people brought together by God's invitation and kept together by God's grace.

In other words, we should be celebrating an organic unity created by the miracle of new birth and by the Pentecostal work of the Holy Spirit. We should see ourselves as an outpost of God's heaven right here on earth, a wonderfully diverse family being formed together with people from all tribes, races and nations. 

In this paradigm, divine unity is a starting point that we guard and celebrate, not merely an end point toward which we strive.

For this summer, table groups and workshops could focus on our really getting to know and love each other better as divinely adopted sisters and brothers, and not primarily as settings to discuss and debate issues.


"Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our ancestors by being unfaithful to one another?"  
Malachi 2:10 (NIV)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Commercialized Medicine v. Socialized Medicine

Complex cases like UK's Charlie Gard add
controversy to our healthcare debates.
Few issues seem to touch a nerve like the debate over whether a socialized health care system (like that of most industrialized nations) is to be preferred over our own commercialized medical care.
The fact is that no system run by and for human beings is ever going to be perfect, but here are some of the prevailing arguments:

1. Government controlled single payer systems cause long delays for certain treatment or surgeries.

Sadly, so can commercialized systems. My wife, for example, who is in almost constant pain from a knee she needs to have replaced, has been told that December is the earliest her surgeon will be available. My older brother in Costa Rica, which has a single payer system but also has private hospital care available for those who can afford it, was recently placed on a priority of need list for heart surgery, one that places him at the top of the list if his condition worsens. He has since actually improved, and his doctor, whom he trusts and likes, now believes that at his age, nearly 90, he is as at less risk waiting. Meanwhile, neither he nor his family feel his needs are being overlooked.

2. Government controlled healthcare is inferior to commercialized medicine.

My friends in Canada disagree, and would not trade their healthcare for ours. But individual circumstances and results will always vary. Meanwhile, we know that our overall healthcare costs are the highest in the world, and while our results for certain specialized procedures are often outstanding, our overall healthcare delivery, especially to lower income individuals and families, is far from stellar. And according to an article in the May, 2018, Readers Digest, "as many as 440,000 Americans die every year from medical errors and infections contracted in the hospital."

No system is perfect.

3. Socialized medicine puts an intolerable burden on taxpayers.

There is no free healthcare, and there is no perfect formula for how costs of care should be met in a society. But our current for-profit system seems to be out of control, associated with CEO's of hospital chains earning astronomical salaries, pharmaceutical companies making insane profits, health providers prescribing unneeded tests and procedures to limit their liability and increase their profits, and too many people demanding the kind of end-of-life care that costs millions but adds very little to end-of-life benefit.

4. Governmentally funded healthcare is inevitably burdened with layers of bureaucracy that make it unpopular and unwieldy.

Again, no system is perfect, but our own Medicare and Medicaid programs have actually proved quite efficient and effective. My wife and I have personally benefitted from, and have been blessed by, the help we've received for healthcare as Medicare recipients, as have many people, ironically, who are strong opponents of socialized medicine.

5. In a system of socialized healthcare death panels determine who is treated and who is left to die.

In our own system, it is often for-profit insurance companies that end up making such decisions. In the much publicized case of ten-month-old Charlie Gard of the UK, who had a rare and terminal genetic condition that left him without the ability to see, hear, move or swallow, he was finally taken off life support after his team of doctors, the UK Supreme Court, and the European Court of Human Rights ruled that prolonging the child's life by artificial means would only cause him untold suffering. The case was highly controversial because the parents had raised over a million pounds in the hope they could find a cure for him somewhere in the world, perhaps in the U.S.

Our hearts go out to the parents of this precious child, even though it finally boiled down to a case of whether further efforts to artificially prolong his life would only prolong his death, since short of a divine miracle, neither system of health care would have been able to save the child. The British system and its medical personnel had in fact poured millions into his care, and the chances of a commercial health insurance plan being willing or able to invest more are next to zero.

In a day when we have astronomically priced healthcare options, but limited resources to pay for them, there are simply no perfect solutions when it comes to how we provide care of our sick and disabled.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Gemeinschaft Residents Dazzle Local Audience

It's not often that Gemeinschaft Home for transitioning ex-offenders and  JMU's Forbes Center for the Performing Arts appear in the same sentence. But last night an entire evening at the Forbes Center was devoted to music groups performing songs composed by GH residents, interspersed with some of the stories behind their compositions. 

The results were stunning, and especially rewarding to supporters of the Home, along with the dedicated students and staff from JMU's music and social work departments who had conducted song writing workshops at Gemeinschaft each Monday evening over the past number of months.

Here are the lyrics to Joseph Dudash's piece, "Half Way In and Half Way Out" just as he wrote them:

I’m Half way in,
I’m Half way out,
I’m Half way in, and 
I’m Half way out

As I gaze upon the western skies
I feel my voice gain strength and rise
No longer am I stuck in a cage
My freedom yet to take center stage

Feels like I’m stuck in the crosshairs
Always in the pitfalls of society’s snares
Like quicksand, I sink down
The harder I fight, the faster I lose sight
Forever reaching for solid ground

Once my life was sweet harmony 
Working overtime, never short on money
Wife, yard, and kid on the way
Got hurt shutin’ down a riot—What can I say?
Uncle Sam and Big Blue turned their backs on me that day

What was once my profession
Has been twisted into an obsession
That rush of fluid succession
Only one thing that I can be
Now that I’m sentenced with that felony

One more chance they’ve given me
Change your ways or you will see
Your only ties to family
Will be from the outside lookin’ in
Two-inch-thick glass divider for your sin

Judge’s order finally sound
Pack your shit, you movin’ on
Country road, outskirts of town
Your one LAST for solid ground
Transport’s leavin’, you’re Gemeinschaft bound

Disjointed memories from behind the line
Nothing to show for the lost time
No friends I call mine
Family won’t answer or write in kind
A house of felons trying to unwind

Pick yourself up, and brush yourself off, they shout
The world can be yours now that you are out
The cycle is broken
The dirty old ring of addiction
Now to stay clean is your redemption

Transitioning and traversing the storm they call life
A new way to live cuts like a knife
Tools to grow
United against all this strife
Only you can reap what you sow

Like a boy scout I’m prepared
All of my demons better beware
One day at a time, one step at a time
Armored from head to toe like a knight
I’m finally committed to winning this fight

I’m Half way in,
I’m Half way out,
I’m Half way in, and 
I’m Half way out

Saturday, May 5, 2018

7 Signs We Need To Have Our Hearts Examined

"If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister
in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in
that person?" I John 3:17 (NIV)
Here are a few heart symptoms that may indicate some need for coronary repair:

1. When we cling to our positions of privilege and power in spite of the suffering of masses of people in the world.

2. When we invest more in lawn care than we do in care for others in need.

3. When in the name of "national defense"we justify the intentional slaughter of human beings and the destruction of homes, property, and natural resources.

4. When we hear about people dying from opioid overdoses and think, "They're just getting what they deserve."

5. When our guest lists and our circle of friends include mostly people much like ourselves, and exclude people of other races, ethnicities and faiths.

6. When we claim to worship Jesus but do not strive to actually live like Jesus.

7. When we can drive by a jail or prison and not feel the slightest compassion for the fellow human beings kept in such places for years on end.

What other examples come to your mind?

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Our Family Life Resource Center Open House!

Join me May 18 at my most favorite place to work ever.
Mark your calendars for the Family Life Resource Center’s Open House, Friday, May 18, from 5-7 pm at 273 Newman Avenue in Harrisonburg.

This unique fundraiser will feature an elective "Power Parenting" presentation by therapist Harvey Yoder and an equally brief and helpful Self Care/Relaxation Technique Seminar led by therapist Terri Adamson.

There will also be light refreshments, a meet and greet with our certified therapy dog, face painting in our children’s therapy room and live music by Lisa Meadows.  

This is a great time to meet our staff and tour the building.  Raffle tickets are also offered to donors before and at the event for a men’s gift basket valued at $300, a women’s gift basket worth $500, and a child’s gift basket valued at $200 (All baskets are raffled separately).

Every penny raised at the event will benefit FLRC's Scholarship Fund for clients without insurance and without the means to pay for counseling.

Please respond to or 540-434-8450 by Monday, May 14, if you can come.

We look forward to seeing you!