TAKING INITIATIVE…………I have fallen into the trap of saying nice, cliche words as I am saying goodbye to someone. On occasion, I have said, “I will keep you in my prayers”. Other times I have said, “If there is anything that you need, be sure to call me.” These statements may be given with the best of intentions, but they often fail to give the help and relief that are needed.

Perhaps it is best to take initiative. Instead of starting off by saying, “I will keep you in may prayers”, what about saying, “Can I offer a prayer for you right now?” Instead of blurting out these words, “Be sure to call if you need something”, what if we said,”I’m going to the store and will pick something up for you–what can I get?”

Our likelihood of helping someone in need goes up when we take initiative.

I am a work in progress–it has taken me a long time to go from saying, “I will pray for you”, to praying right on the spot. I still have moments that I am not as assertive as I should be.

Jesus says in our Gospel text this weekend, “I must go on my way……to Jerusalem.” With strong initiative our Lord goes to work for us and goes to die for us!

Please join me in a simple word of prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving us a Savior who never wavered to bring us the help and relief we truly needed! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

DONATED BIBLES………..Four Bibles (3 in the ESV version and one in NIV) were donated to Peace last weekend. If you would like one or know of someone who could use a Bible, please let Pastor know.

WIRED WORD…………….Last week’s discussion was great as we talked about the difference between people who look at the glass half full and those who see it as half empty. Brad did an excellent job in leading us and thank you to all for sharing your insights. This week will be just as timely and helpful. We begin at 9:45 in the sanctuary.

After a Miscount, Daycare Leaves 2-Year-Old Behind in Park
The Wired Word for the Week of September 27, 2015
In the News
One day last week, three workers from the Quality of Life Academy daycare facility in Brooklyn took the 17 children in their care to a nearby park to play. When they were ready to return, the workers somehow miscounted, and 2-year-old Ethan Huachi was left behind.
After being left alone for more than an hour, Ethan, now asleep on a park bench, was noticed by a passing woman, who called the police. The officers took Ethan to a hospital, where it was determined he was in good health and unharmed. They then took him to the 72nd Precinct, where he was cared for while the police worked to discover his identity and find his parents.
The officers tweeted out the boy’s picture. Someone recognized him and called the daycare center, where Ethan’s absence had not yet been noticed. The center then called his mother, Diana Huachi, and a daycare worker accompanied her to the precinct where mother and son were reunited.
An investigation is underway, and in the meantime, the daycare’s license has been suspended. The city’s department of health has worked with all of the parents to help them find other daycare arrangements for their children.
Quality of Life Academy is licensed to care for up to 15 children at a time. It has not been reported why they had exceeded that number.

At The Wired Word, we view this story as an opportunity to think about the worth of each individual. Many Christian denominations have a statement somewhere in their doctrinal or societal material asserting the worth of individuals. Here are some samples:
• From the United Methodist Church: “We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God.”
• From the Southern Baptist Church: “Biblical revelation clearly and consistently affirms that human life is formed by God in His image and is therefore worthy of honor and dignity (Genesis 1:27; 9:6) ….”
• From the Mennonite Church USA: “We believe that God has created human beings in the divine image. God formed them from the dust of the earth and gave them a special dignity among all the works of creation.”
• From the American Baptist Church: “… we acknowledge life as a sacred and gracious gift of God. We affirm that God is the Creator of all life, that human beings are created in the image of God, and Christ is Lord of life.”
• From the Roman Catholic Church: “… human life is sacred and … the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. … Human persons are willed by God; they are imprinted with God’s image. Their dignity does not come from the work they do, but from the persons they are.”
• From the Lutheran Church (ELCA): “Human beings, created in God’s image as male and female (Genesis 1:27-28), are persons of intrinsic value and dignity.”
• From the Presbyterian Church (USA): “In sovereign love God created the world good and makes everyone equally in God’s image male and female, of every race and people, to live as one community.”
• From the Episcopal Church: “… all people are worthy of respect and honor, because all are created in the image of God, and all can respond to the love of God.”
• From The Salvation Army: “… all people are created in the image of God and therefore have unique and intrinsic value. Human life is sacred and all people should be treated with dignity and respect.”

More on this story can be found at these links:
2-Year-Old Boy Found Sleeping on Park Bench After Daycare Accidentally Leaves Him Behind. Yahoo News
Mother Outraged After Son Left Behind at Sunset Park Playground by Daycare. ABC7NY

The Big Questions

1. What is your denomination’s statement regarding the worth of individuals? (Note: Such statements are sometimes found in a denomination’s position statement on abortion.) How, specifically, is that statement lived out in your congregation? In your church’s stance in society?

2. One’s view of the worth of individuals has applications to the matters of euthanasia, capital punishment, abortion, warfare, human trafficking, pornography, persons born with extreme birth defects or severe mental handicaps, cloning and possibly other things — far too many topics to discuss in the timeframe of a typical class meeting. Select one or two of the topics and answer the following: How does your view of the worth of individuals affect your thinking about [TOPIC]?

3. When have you felt most worthless in your life? What contributed to that feeling? When have you felt most valued? In what way(s) do the gospel and the people of God impact how you view your worth as a person? How does your faith influence your view of the worth of other people?

4. If every human being is of sacred worth, does that mean that each person is just as valuable as every other person? Whether your answer is yes or no, what are the social and political implications of your answer?

5. The Bible nowhere explicitly says “Every human life is sacred,” but from your reading of the Bible, are there enough biblical texts that, taken together, lead to that conclusion? If so, what level of importance should that conclusion have in how we live? Are there any verses that make you question that conclusion, and if so, what are they?