Wednesday, November 25, 2009

SNL & Thanksgiving

These two things do not really go together, but I was not going to make two posts. My posting has been extremely irregular, so who am I kidding that I could/would do two in one day. So here we go .....

As I am finishing up items before we head out to Thanksgiving weekend, I am working on some more Sunday Night Live information.

Here are some more #'s .....

We are averaging 30 children/youth on Sunday nights for the first 10 weeks. During that time, we have had 64 different children attend. Out of those 64 that have attended 43 of them had NEVER attended worship or Sunday school. It is becoming quite clear that this is turning more into an outreach for children because since the first month, our numbers for parents have dropped significantly.

One of the items of concern is that we have 11 children who attended Sunday School last year that have not attended SNL and 4 that have attended once or twice that were active in SS that most likely will not be back. So, we have 15 children that we need to connect.

On to thanksgiving, in an hour I am going home and helping with the final touches of the packing, so we can head out to West Virginia. We will be there around 48 - 52 hours, depending on when we leave. I am looking forward to the time to do nothing and the hopeful possibility of sleeping in.

Now, back to work, so I can be out in an hour.

Monday, November 16, 2009

SNL Twist

There is a twist that is occurring within Sunday Night Live. Those who have been connected with Zion our not coming and those without Zion connections are coming.

The positive spin is that this ministry is becoming an "outreach" ministry. However, the "negative" spin is that those connected with Zion are not coming to the ministry. Thus, we are creating a "divide" in a sense.

For an illustration, here are 4 evaluations from last week that stood out to me.

1. We had 24 children that were there that were in the preschool - 6th grade age range. Out of that 21 DID NOT attend church on Sunday morning. This means that we only had 3 that attended both. And no, it is not a coincidence that I have 3 kids. So, yes, my kids are the only ones who attended both.

2. If you include the youth, the numbers are 24 out of 31 did not attend church or there were 7 individuals who attended both.

3. Our adult (parent numbers) have dropped significantly over the past 4 weeks. This past Sunday, we had 5 adults in class. 0 of them attended church on Sunday morning.

4. Our children and youth numbers have remained steady while the total numbers have shown "significant" decline.

I am going to examine and contemplating this a little more. At the present time, I am thanking God that we are reaching out to those who are not "connected" at Zion and our Sunday night group is "becoming church" for those without church. Now, there will have to be some theological issues to unpack in that .....

We will also have to think about and journey what we are going to do / if anything / about those who are coming Sunday morning but are not coming back on Sunday night but want some CE for their kids.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kasie Kelly to OSU

Kasie, a Wooster high school student and softball player will not play her senior year at Wooster. She is headed to college (Ohio State). She will graduate a semster early and enroll into OSU and begin her career. We see football players do this after they finish their senior year of football and get there to do spring ball. You do not see this often in softball. Matter of fact, this is the first time it has occurred at OSU.

Here record may not be great but look at her ERA and strike-outs as a junior last year. It highlights her amazing game against Lexington and then her whole junior year. Here they are:

The rocket-armed righthander struck out a state record 44 hitters in 19 innings pitched against Lexington last spring, but Wooster lost the game 1-0. She didn't get much run support overall in finishing with a 10-8 record despite logging a 0.65 ERA and an area-best 271 strikeouts in 129 innings pitched.

Less $$$ For You

This week, I heard about a family giving less money to their church because they feel that the services that they receive from the church have gone down.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Healthcare Talk

Tonight, I am going to share my healthcare / health insurance story with a group that is doing a presentation / forum on health care reform. Here is my "speech":

Good Evening. My name is Jeff Greathouse and tonight, I am going to share with you my story about health care and health insurance. Over the last three and half years, we have seen many different sides of the health insurance and health care debate. Because of this journey, I honestly believe that we need health care reform. I am going to be honest and I will tell you that I do not have all the answers. However, tonight is not about providing answers, tonight is about me sharing my family’s story.

In June of 2006, we moved from Alabama to Indiana to take a new job position. We had always had group health insurance and when we took the position in Indiana, we were promised that this position would have group health insurance, as well. Well, the group health insurance did not occur and my wife has a pre-existing condition that every insurance company denies. Thus, we quickly found ourselves without health insurance for my wife.

Thus, we went searching for different avenues of finding care for my wife and we came to dead end after dead end. It was very frustrating going from insurance company to insurance company and government agencies and programs and constantly getting a no; we can not get her covered. One of our major hurdles when we first moved was that we had moved from Alabama to Indiana thus we could not get into any government insurance pools because we had not been a resident for at least 12 months.
In March of 2007, my wife became extremely ill and we went scrambling to find doctors, hospitals and surgeons that would cover her. Unfortunately, the initial visits had to go through the ER and that was a nightmare. It was a nightmare not only because of the care she received but from the cost aspect of it.

We also got denied by our local clinics because we could not pay our hospital bills up-front. So, we could no longer go to the clinic. We were running out of options and went to some doctors and hospitals about an hour away in Indianapolis.

The care that we received was good. However, I have never been so humiliated in my life with a feeling that I did not take care of my wife because I did not have insurance for her. The reason for me not having insurance was far out of my control. But the humiliation was nothing compared to the realization that the surgeon told me that I needed to get her into a medical study grant or find insurance for her immediately or she may not live much longer.

Thus, I did the only thing that I thought that I could do. I sent my name and resume out to find a job that would be able to use my gifts and passion and that would be a good natural fit while providing group insurance for me and my family.

Thankfully, it took less than 3 months for me to find my current position that provides excellent insurance coverage for my family, including my wife. However, it did have to include a conversation with my kids that we had to uproot them again to another state.

We are extremely thankful for the insurance coverage and the proximity of the Cleveland Clinic. Since moving here, twenty-eight months ago - she has had seventeen surgeries. She is alive today because I have a health insurance card in my wallet. If I did not have the card in my wallet, my wife would not be alive today.

I am forever grateful that I have the insurance card in my back pocket and that my wife has her surgeon on speed dial. However, I have a deep mourning in my heart each time that we go in, because I know that there are folks who would love to get in but cannot because they do not have an insurance card. To me, from a religious standpoint, it is a sinful inequality that we have in our country.

The health insurance and health care reform not only touches people’s physical lives though. It touches every aspect; especially the financial aspect. Because of our medical situations (with and without insurance), our credit rating is shot and we are unable to achieve the dream of home-ownership.

It is my hope and my prayer that individuals would not have to walk in our footsteps. But, I know that with the many uninsured that we have in our country, many will and that is a shame.

I dream of a country where all individuals can have access to good health care. I would love to see the day when doctors, hospitals and insurance companies can look into a person’s eye and see patients not profits. It would be great if we as a country can see that this debate is a life and death issue. I look forward to the day that our country, which values life, will stop placing obstacles in the way of those seeking health care.

I believe that with a nation as wealthy and as smart as we are that we can create an impartial and sustainable health-care system.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Baskeball Season ......

is here.

This morning, in about 10 mins, we are headed up to Grace for the boys basketball season opener. Isaiah and Jacob are both playing and they are on the same team.

We will see how the season goes.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Faithful Health Care Reform

I am going to be sharing our personal story at an event called:

Faithful Health Care Reform: A Social Justice Response to the Present Crisis

The event is going to be next Monday, November 9th.

I am a little worried and concerned about making the presentation and sharing the story. Health Care & Health Insurance is a very politically charged issue at the present time and there are folks all across the board on the issue and obviously serving in/with/for a church ------- there are many that will disagree with me.

I do know this though: In My Opinion, something needs to be done about our current situation and I believe that the title (sub) is correct: there is a crisis.

Our family has lived on both sides of the coin: health insurance and no health insurance and let me tell you, it is no fun living on the side w/o health insurance.

To me, I am grateful for what we have, but it is so unjust to the privileged that we have just because I have a card in my back pocket.

Time to Pause

Yesterday was All Saints Day. It is a church holiday that some churches/denominations celebrate and others do not. For us, as a church, in the traditional church, we paused and read all the names of those in the church that have died this year and rang a chime in their honor/remembrance.

It is a time for us to remember those who have finished the race.

Thus, it was also a time for me to pause and say a prayer for those who have lost a dear love one this last year. My prayers are with you.