We counted wrong or did we? We’re counting on you.
Partnership is not an end but a beginning. If you are a partner count on regular updates, encouraging words, testimonials and so much more. See how your financial support makes a difference in lives everyday. Canterbury is a mission and ministry and we are here to change the world one life at a time.
Another favorite quote from Mother Teresa…
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.
Feeling the restlessness? Is there too much noise? If so come for a visit. Enter into a sacred landscape, a holy place where you can be refreshed, renewed and still.
Partnership is should be perpetual. We should join together as often as we can to celebrate the accomplishments and share in the struggles.
As I write this, there is a hurricane is in the Atlantic. We may lie directly in its path. Time will tell. We may be calling on the generosity of our partners in the days ahead. Regardless if the storm hits us or not, partners stand together with a mission to achieve.
You can be confident in what we are doing at Canterbury. It is an important work and we appreciate you being on the team.
Reflect: If you have been following this journey of 40 Days of Funding, reflect on what you have learned. What are your takeaways?
No one has ever become poor by giving. – Anne Frank
We are enriched when we give. Mother Teresa said, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.”
There is a poverty that runs rampant in our culture and it is poverty of the soul. We want more; we have less. We strive for things that in the long run matter not. We seek security, safety, wealth and things only to find hollowness in our very being. I love this quote from the character Terrence Mann, played by the actor James Earl Jones in the movie field of Dreams…
Ray, people will come Ray… They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past… They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack.
As I go about my day-to-day routine I seem to encounter people with this kind of longing. There is an ache deep inside and they cannot find a cure. While trying to accumulate power, prestige and wealth they find themselves empty to the core.
There is a solution though. It is in giving. In this final installment of our 40-day journey with the notion of partnering, there are two big gives I would commend and even implore you to consider.
#1 – Give yourself to God. Jesus invites us into a full and meaningful life. It is not an easy life as some may want you to believe, but it is a rich and purposed life that offers an inner joy regardless of circumstance. People find this life, this faith on a regular basis at Canterbury I invite you to do the same.
#2 – Give yourself for the sake of others; family, friends, neighbors, those in need. In doing so, in serving, spending your time and resources for the sake of even strangers you will find a depth of wealth and meaning that eludes the masses. Canterbury is place you may give to in this way. If you are interested in doing so, just ask me.
By giving may we find ourselves in a day where the hatred, greed, violence, and evils of this world are impoverished!
Reflect: Make an inventory of things you can give to others; money, time, talent, resources, things and make a plan to do so.
To have made even one person’s life a little better, that is to succeed.
– Henry David Thoreau
Our aim is to do this at Canterbury. In many ways this is why we exist. Through sharing our gift of hospitality and making available these sacred acres to the betterment of others, Canterbury seeks to help people find their purpose, find themselves and find God in new, precious and intimate ways.
Life is made better by reflection, wisdom, contemplation, understanding and growth. We grow in our knowledge of God. We are equipped to serve and be better today than yesterday and not as good as we will be tomorrow. This is the trajectory of a fruitful life to be outward focused.
By living a life investing in others, you become the best you can be.
I know people who are self-obsessed. They play the role of a victim and see life as one heartbreak after another. I can sympathize even empathize with their trials. There are seasons of grief that scripture refers to as the Valleys of Shadows. At some point you have to do something to break the cycle. When I have been in a “low” time I have discovered that I get out of it by looking beyond my current situation with view to do some good for someone else.
Partnership is building a life, a legacy together and making the world a better place. What we do at Canterbury is on point to that mission and I hope if you have not already, you will consider partnering with us. Becoming a Canterbury Partner is important and it’s easy. Here’s how: Become a Canterbury Partner.
Reflect: Considering this statement from Thoreau, How have you been successful? How can you increase the measure of your success through giving to the benefit of others?
Ms. Berry traveled the United States and the world seeking support for her school. She sought the captains of industry in the early 1900’s to make contributions to this noble work: including; Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, to name a few. Even President Teddy Roosevelt visited Berry College in 1910.
As the story goes, she wrote Henry Ford asking for a contribution. Mr. Ford was not known for his philanthropy. He sent her a small donation, some say a dime.
Not dissuaded, Ms. Martha had a plan. After a few months she wrote Mr. Ford back. Letting him know she had taken his meager investment, bought peanut seeds, planted a crop and brought in a significant harvest. Mr. Ford was impressed and ended up being a lifelong partner with Berry College building the magnificent Ford Buildings, which stand today as a city on a hill and a main feature of the campus.
His investment in Berry College sustained them through the depression in the 30’s and lives as a beautiful and lasting monument.
Reflect: What will be your legacy? What will you leave behind? What small seed can you plant today that will become a future harvest for others to benefit from and enjoy?
I attended Berry College where I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree. Berry College made a huge impact on my life. It was during those early college years I received much of the personal, emotional and spiritual formation I have carried in my life.
Being a Berry student I also was grafted into a tremendous legacy and heritage that traces back to the founder of the school, Martha Berry. She was a woman way ahead of her time and she gave all she had for the sake of education.
She was also a person of wisdom and vision.
Martha, along with her family, inherited a massive tract of land – land upon which Berry College now resides. In fact, the acreage of Berry College is so grand that in terms of physical area, Berry College is the largest college campus in the world, some 29,000 acres.
As she was planning out the campus, Martha planted two rows of oak trees through the middle of a field that was used for planting crops. Her advisers thought her daft and argued against the action.
She had a vision of an oak lined roads leading through the campus. She envisioned the future and acted upon it. Today the investment adds to the Berry College landscape also touted as not just the largest campus in the world but certainly one of the most beautiful. Check out: www.berry.edu
I am reminded of this quote… A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit. – D. Elton Trueblood, Former chaplain to both Harvard and Stanford Universities
Reflect: Martha left a physical legacy through her vision and generosity. What legacy are you sowing into even today?
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
This statement has been attributed to Sir Winston Churchill. He may or may not have said it. Regardless, it definitely worth pondering and rings true to a deeper and more purposeful existence.
Growing up in the Episcopal Church, I heard this weekly in the offertory sentence as a regular part of the liturgy… Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35) It carries the same sentiment. Life is not about what you get but rather about what you give.
I am a person who loves to give gifts. At Christmas and birthdays I invest time, thought and action in choosing just the right gift for a person. I listen through the year to comments my wife makes and take note and often will know months in advance what I am going to give her for her birthday, our anniversary or just because.
Giving is an act, but it’s also an art. It expresses compassion, kindness and thoughtfulness. It can inspire greatness in our world. In one of his books Max Lucado makes this statement, “We are never more like God than when we give.” In our giving we have the opportunity to mediate something of immense value into the world, making a difference in people’s lives. The world can be changed by our active philanthropy.
While it’s nice to know that our giving can bring positive change to others. It’s also important to recognize that when we give, it changes us as well. We are changed and transformed by giving. We experience the blessing of giving and it should make us joyful!
Reflect: What’s a great gift that you received, that you remember to this day? How are you giving your life away to others?
Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. ― Mother Teresa
This is not just a great quote but it is the way I want to live my life.
I aspire to greatness. I want Canterbury to be a great resource to the community, the marketplace, institutions and the church. In the scope of things, we are not a huge ministry. We have limitations in the number folks we can serve. But we can serve them well and do it with great love.
A student was taking a course at a local seminary and he was staying at Canterbury for the week. I was walking through the lobby at Canterbury and we struck up a conversation that lasted over 2 hours. I had things to do, details to cover but this moment seemed important so I lingered with this young man and we talked about life, church, ministry and mission. When the conversation was wrapping up he said something profound, The last 2 hours were the best of my week, I learned more from you in these few minutes than in the 30 hours I have spent in class.
I was humbled. I did think I said anything profound or noteworthy. I had however given him time from my busy day. The tasks I had to do still got done and I quickly got back on schedule. This “interruption” was more important. It was a small thing with great love.
I know I miss these opportunities all the time. I am often too locked on getting the job done, scratching something off my list, moving on to the next thing. I like to get things accomplished, sometimes at the cost of what is more important, life giving and even eternal. I learned early on in ministry, People are more important than things. I had that plastered over my desk in my first ministry position and 30+ years later it is still true.
Reflect: What small thing can you do today to make a difference for someone else?
I am writing this during the week following the landfall of Hurricane Harvey on the Texas gulf coast and the devastating flooding that occurred in the wake of that storm.
The images were staggering as we saw lakes and rivers appear in places that had never been flooded. It will take years to rebuild and reestablish the many communities that have suffered.
We also saw something else. We saw ordinary men and women come to the rescue. A volunteer navy of bass boats, rafts, even pilots and helicopters that came from other states to pull people from calamity and what would be certain death. I heard one newscaster say, “We saw Mother Nature at her worst and humanity at her best.” I saw a post on Facebook that said, “We need to build a statue of normal people in bass boats rescuing their neighbors and strangers.”
We’ve been living in the USA with a lot of division and polarization — left against right, blue against red, black against white, straight against gay. There has been a lot of name calling, mud-slinging and hatred from all sides. It has made me sad.
What we have witnessed so far in the aftermath of Harvey; people helping people regardless of color, gender, race, language, sexual orientation, economic status and more. The media seems to divide us by these things. Perhaps they believe it makes for good television. They are wrong. As painful as many of the images coming from Texas have been, there has been inspiration in kindness, mercy, compassion and love for one another. That is worth watching.
Reflect: Pause for a moment, give thanks, make a contribution, help someone you’ll be glad you did.