MIAMI TOWNSHIP, OHIO - The temporary closure of Price Road between Bramblewood Drive and I-275 has been extended from 11-28-08 to 12-10-08. Download map for closure location. Download Bramblewood_SSP_Detour_Price_rev
Have you made all your preparations for this Thursday? Have your grocery shopping done? Have your travel itinerary set? Have the guest room cleaned and pillows fluffed? Feeling stressed yet?
My Thanksgiving stress points are not triggered by fears of getting enough white meat, being done with the meal before the football game, or having to face some hard to get along with family members, my Thanksgiving stress point, ironically, is being called upon to pray before the meal. Even as a pastor who prays publicly about every day the thanksgiving prayer I am called to offer before my family and extended family is a source of stress.
Why do you think the Thanksgiving prayer moment so stressful? Well, it seems to be the most important public prayer we offer during the year and we are afraid of messing it up especially before the entire family.
To avoid the stress of publicly praying before our family, many parents now punt and simply ask one of the kids to pray before the meal rather than risk messing up this sacred moment. But this can backfire as well.
As a pastor
, I want to help you not only pray well in front of your family at the thanksgiving table this year—whipping up a great prayer for thanksgiving if you will, I want to give you the ingredients of prayer that will enable to deepen your conversation with God anytime, anywhere. The ingredients of great prayer can be summed up as the ACTS of prayer (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication).
The first ingredient of prayer is adoration, naming before God an attribute that makes God worthy of prayer. Great prayers begin not with your need; great prayer begins by celebrating who God is. That is adoration.
As you whip up your own prayer, here is just the beginning of attributes you can adore God for: Your love never ends, You grace washes away all our faults, You provide all we need, You never give up on us, You give us eternal life in your Son Jesus, Your give us the Holy Spirit, You heal our hurts and heal our hearts, You pour blessing into all of your lives, You call me your daughter/son… The entire internet is not big enough to list all the divine attributes with God. This is the first ingredient of any prayer.
So a thanksgiving prayer can begin this way by offering a word of adoration. O God, you are the giver of all good gifts.
The next ingredient of a great prayer is C-confession. When we name a perfect attribute of God in adoration, our imperfection in light of God’s perfection cannot be ignored - it needs to be acknowledged and dealt with. Confession is a healthy part of any prayer, not just the prayer of confession before communion or prayers we offer during the season of Lent.
Now, someone maybe thinking “but Doug, its thanksgiving, this is not the time or place to offer confession. Who says? In light of a perfect God is there a perfect family? Even at the Thanksgiving table we can enter into a moment of confession. Maybe the line could go something like this: Forgive us for being so busy with unimportant things that have forgotten how precious a gift our family is.
And when we render to God a confession, privately or publicly, we always offer it with this promise of God in mind, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9)
Great prayers are begin with God, adoring God for his divine attributes, it then turns inward in confession, and now the T—thanksgiving. Now we are back to familiar territory. Our psalm for today says it best, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done.” (Psalm 107:5)
Every prayer, not just at Thanksgiving, any prayer should include a thanksgiving portion. Prayer creates space for us to look around at your things, your gifts, your relationships, the faith you have in your heart. Every blessing in your life has one thing in common—G-O-D.
We need thanksgiving in our prayers more than ever. So much of our decision making today is driven not by faith but be fear. For too many people the stock market is source of everything good, or your 401K is the source of security in your life. How did we stray so far from orthodox Christianity that tells us God is the one who will care of our needs. If the majority of Americans who claim Christianity as their faith journey were to tell themselves, and believe it again, I wonder how quickly we could move out of economic malaise! We have so much to thank God for! Even at the doorstep of a recession. The market may drop, but God doesn’t drop his eternal promises!
Your thanksgiving prayer can include thanks for the food on your table, and the list of blessings you and your family enjoy. It may look like this: We thank you for our food, our family, and for our faith.
The final ingredient of prayer is S—supplication. Said another way, sharing with God our needs.
As one of the pastors at the Epiphany United Methodist Church, one of the constant feedbacks I hear about worship in this place is the sharing of prayer concerns we do in worship and in our smaller group setting. It just seems natural for our communal life with God. Can you imagine taking a moment in loving vulnerability and sharing your prayer needs as a family? Why not prayer for cousin’s search for a job, grandmother’s battle against disease, your sister’s recent separation. Prayer is not about nicety, and polite society. Prayer is the occasion to boldly approach the throne of God and ask for divine intervention.
This thanksgiving may be the most memorable for your family if you take time in love to offer your family needs and community needs to God in your thanksgiving prayer.
So let’s put it all together: O God, you are the giver of all good gifts. Forgive us for being so busy with unimportant things that have forgotten how precious a gift our family is. We thank you for our food, our family, and for our faith. We pray for (family prayer concerns listed). Hold them close and care for their needs. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord, Amen.
ACTS of prayer (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication). Now you have a great start to a Thanksgiving prayer and now you have a great start to a life that is defined by an on-going, passionate, and faithful conversation with the One who is the source of every good in your life and in the world. Amen.
The Rev. Dr. Doug Damron is Senior Pastor at Epiphany United Methodist Church
The Take Back The Filter campaign is thrilled to announce that Brita and Preserve have teamed up to create a take-back recycling program for Brita pitcher filter cartridges!
In a nutshell, beginning in January, folks will be able to drop off filters at Whole Foods Markets or mail them in. Preserve,
a U.S. company manufacturing household products from recycled plastic,
will recycle 100% of the plastic casing. And the filter material will
be regenerated or converted to energy. Read on... Take Back The Filter.
ART HOUSE II Holiday Open House and Sale (10% of sales will benefit Loveland Stage Company Fire Fund)
Opening Reception, everyone welcome Friday Nov. 28 from 4 ~ 9 PM Special event hours continue: Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 1 ~ 5PM
The Gallery will showcase approximately 100 paintings, including some new local landscapes. Special Sale Prices on many older paintings.
Rolke's Sycamore by Deirdre Dyson
The ART HOUSE II is located at 430 West Loveland Avenue, Loveland (Just 2 buildings East of the intersection light at Wall Street. Next door to Salon 426. Parking in rear.) For more info call Deirdre 583-5267 at Art House II, or 683-0349 at home.
About the artist "Deirdre Dyson has built her career as a professional artist and
teacher over 35 years in Loveland, Ohio. She is a prolific painter who
travels and paints extensively in this country and in Europe. Deirdre
graduated from the University of Cincinnati, DAAP, with BFA in Painting
and BA in Art Education. Workshop studies have been with Daniel Green,
Kim English and Thaddeus Raedell. She has taught students from
kindergarten through senior citizens privately, at public schools, and
for the Art Academy of Cincinnati, Community Education Program."
LOVELAND, OHIO – Ken Vance lives in the Fairways of O'Bannon Creek off of Rt. 48, east of Loveland. He said he found out about that Loveland Stage Company was on fire from his wife and daughter who called him to say they were going to be later than expected getting home as they couldn't get through downtown Loveland because “something was on fire.” When they called a second time and said it was the Loveland Stage Company that was burning, Vance said, “I decided to grab my camera and see what kind of shots I could get.”
Vance said that after taking a few shots of the building fully involved, “I realized that a much more interesting perspective would be to focus on the men and women that were actually fighting the fire.” He said that these individuals don't get enough recognition for the job they
do keeping all of us safe.”
“Bruce Springsteen wrote a song after the 9/11 tragedy, called Into the Fire, as a tribute to the firefighters in NYC that lost their lives. The chorus of that song says it all,” said Vance.
May your strength give us strength, May your faith give us faith, May your hope give us hope, May your love give us love.
MIAMI TOWNSHIP, OHIO - Dry Run Road will temporarily reopen on Wednesday, November 26, by 4:00 PM. The entire length of Dry Run Road will be open during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
On Monday, December 1, Dry Run Road will be closed just north of Galley Hill Road for phase 2 of the OPWC Bank Stabilization and Road Relocation Project. The intersection of Dry Run Road and Galley Hill Road may be restricted to one lane during working hours to allow for construction. The intersection will reopen fully during evenings and weekends. Traffic delays are to be expected during construction hours. Weather permitting, the projected end-date for phase 2 is December 31. Local traffic will be maintained up to either side of the construction site. All through traffic will be blocked during this closure and will not reopen until the entire project is complete. See attached (Download Dry_Run_Road_Closure_Dec_08)
file for closure location.
Questions about this project should be directed to the Miami Township Service Department at 248-3728.
Branch Hill Loveland Road will be closed beginning Monday, December 1, and is anticipated to reopen on Friday, January 30. The closure is for Clermont County construction related to the Landslide Stabilization Project on Branch Hill Loveland Road in Miami Township. See attached (Download Branch_Hill_Loveland_Detour_Dec_08)
file for detour information.
LOVELAND, OHIO - On Sunday Nov. 23 Loveland Stage Company (LSC) member, Stephanie Mackris, will be hosting a voice recital for her students. Many of them (or their parents) are LSC members or have appeared in some of the Stage Company shows. Mackris will not charge for this event, but has offered to display a donation box for the fire fund, to re-build the LSC theater that was gutted by a fire last month.
If you would like to support these future LSC stars as well as help with the fire fund you can attend the recital that will be held at Receptions located at 10681 Loveland Madeira Road.
GOSHEN TOWNSHIP, OHIO - Responding to those eager to criticize the Township Trustees for trying to save taxpayer dollars, Goshen Township Trustee Chairman T.J. Corcoran says he will dress like “The Grinch” for Saturday’s annual Light up Goshen Parade.
Corcoran is referring to a slew of media attention recently relating to the Board of Trustee’s decision to save much needed money by keeping the township fire engines parked in the fire house, except when needed for essential fire runs. This unfortunately impacted the use of the
fire engines in this Saturday’s Light Up Goshen parade. Santa usually rides into town on a fire engine.
“The decision to not use the fire trucks was made in order to save taxpayer dollars in a time when every cent matters and is counted,” Corcoran said, “We don’t want to lay off firemen. We’re trying to cut everywhere possible to minimize any possible tax levies at a time when residents can’t afford tax increases. When the August safety services levy failed, the Trustees knew we’d have to make some tough, and sometimes unpopular decisions. Unfortunately, this was one of them. But, I remain committed to protecting the taxpayer in Goshen.”
A press release issued by the Township said, "Despite the board’s fiscally conservative approach, news media and community members have attacked their decision. Rumors flew through the community that a local television station even referred to the Goshen Trustees on air as, 'The Grinches.”
So this Saturday, Trustee Corcoran will dress in full body costume as Dr. Suess’s “The Grinch.” But this Grinch isn’t stealing Christmas; he’s giving it back. Corcoran says he plans to toss candy to children in the crowd.
Luckily, Santa will be in the parade after all. Several donations were made to the Township in order to fund the fire engine’s appearance in the parade. The firefighter’s union was one of those donations.
“We’re happy that the community has come together to solve this problem,” Corcoran said, “The Township couldn’t afford use of the fire engine this time, but the Firefighter’s Union could. When departments and residents help each other out, everyone wins.”
The Light Up Goshen Parade is set for this Saturday at 4 PM. The route goes down Goshen Road, crosses SR 28, and winds up in front of Kroger on Dick Flynn Blvd.
“Passable Roads Policy” instead of the “Bare Roads Policy”
HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO - County Engineer Bill Brayshaw issued a press release today concerning the upcoming snow and ice season. Brayshaw said, "Due to the unavailability of salt and the high prices, Hamilton County will be reducing the amount of salt spread on the roads this winter." He said the County in will be mixing salt with bottom ash and grits to reduce the amount of salt used in an attempt to extend the current supply of 11,000 tons of salt in county domes. For reference, he said that the Hamilton County Engineer’s Office used 17,000 tons of salt last winter.
This winter the Engineer’s Office will be operating under a “Passable Roads Policy” instead of the “Bare Roads Policy” the County has operated under in the past. Brayshaw said that all routes will be covered as in the past, the decreased use of salt will result in longer times that the roads may have some snow and ice in the driving lanes. Hills, curves and intersections will be treated heavier than the other portions of the roadway system.
"The result for commuters is longer travel times to and from work during snow and ice events," said Brayshaw. "This change in policy has become necessary due to the ever-increasing costs and declining revenue for the Engineer’s Office as well as many local governments and public service organizations."
Brayshaw said that if you have questions or comments you can contact Steve Mary, Hamilton County Maintenance Engineer, "in writing" at 223 W. Galbraith Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45215.
LOVELAND, OHIO - Fifty-six share members of a Grailville-based cooperative program received 22,000 pounds of fresh, organic produce during this year’s growing season.
The Earth-Shares community-supported agriculture (CSA) program in Loveland will expand to 70 shares during 2009, but there are 62 people on the waiting list. A new hoop house will be added, along with a lean-to for the distribution building where seeds will be started for the coming season, said Jeff Lydenberg. “We’re getting larger.”
Shareholders farmed on four organically certified acres leased from Grailville. Shareholders in the CSA split the produce for 23 weeks. Forty-five shareholders who worked 30 hours during the season purchased their shares for $425. Ten shareholders who chose not to work paid $600 each for a season of produce. During 2009, only 45 working shares will be available.
The retail value for the produce was $1.50 to $6 per pound, said Steve Edwards, one of the CSA gardeners. “The price for CSA members was well below wholesale.”
Extra vegetables are available to the public at the Milk and Honey House Produce Stand at Grailville, 932 O'Bannonville Road, Loveland.
Current members who want to reserve their shares for 2009 must pay a $100 deposit by Jan. 15, 2009. Renewal forms and more information are on the CSA website at http://www.earthsharescsa.org/ Then those on the waiting list can apply for a share. A modest cost increase is expected.
Grailville is a non-profit Conference and Retreat Center serving the Cincinnati area.
The equal-employment officer for a state agency complained of racial discrimination in employee pay and failure to recruit minorities, but upper management brushed aside the complaints and retaliated against the compliance officer, according to an investigative report released yesterday.
The report said "discriminatory actions based upon race do seem to be present" at the Ohio Industrial Commission.
The 554-employee agency handles appeals of workers' compensation cases and decides cases in which a worker seeks lifetime disability pay. It has been the target of several unflattering reports this year that depict an agency riddled by mismanagement, retaliation and favoritism.
The pension fund for retired Ohio teachers will take a closer look at the practice of handing six-figure bonus checks to some of its investment managers while the pension fund loses billions of dollars in value, the fund's board decided yesterday.
The board of the State Teachers Retirement System was reacting to criticism from dozens of retired teachers that it continues to pay large bonuses even as pension investments are battered by the downturn on Wall Street. Read on... The Columbus Dispatch : Pension board to study bonuses.