Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Reading, Meetings and Grease Fires

Again, the past week has been incredible. Last week I subbed 3 days at Kokomo Academy(PE, science and social studies. I am rereading NT Wright's book, Simply Christian and have met with no less than 5 community leaders discussing various community issues and KUO events. We are planning a VBS in July with the help of several churches. Last Sunday night we were short on volunteers due to holiday weekend. We only had 8 volunteers usually 15-25, plus it was the end of the month lots of hungry folk. We feed well over 125 people. They ate 1oo hamburgers, 100 hotdogs, 20 pounds of fresh carrots, bags and bags of chips, and who knows how many cookies. We also made nearly 100 bags of food to be given away that include bread, granola bars, toilet tissue or Kleenex, soup, popcorn, chips, cookies, gravy mix, and little treat bag.

Because we received a huge about of hamburger buns I decided to have hamburgers and hotdogs. I went to Walmart looking for some inexpensive hamburger, BINGO, I found 20 quarter pound hamburgers in a box for $4.93, I purchased 5 boxes. When the cook began grilling the hamburgers, there were so much grease in them that it started a grease fire in the grill that would not go out. We just shut the gas off and cooked all the hamburgers and hotdogs on the grease fire . It was a good thing, since we felt like we might run out of gas before we were done cooking.

Late Sunday night Oldest son, Patric, arrived to stay with us for 10 weeks as he completes an internship that will satisfy the last of his college requirements. His wife will be here two days a week and will keep her job near Chicago while staying with her sister. The plan right now is that in August he and his wife will move to Indianapolis where he will attend seminary working toward a masters degree in Christian Education/urban ministry. Thanks for the prayers. Jeff

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


"Is it about God's plan for my life, or my life for God's plan?" What do you think?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I have been spending some time reading. The two books most recently read include: Simply Christian, by N.T. Wright, it is one of the best books I have ever read and it is a must read for the serious Christian. Finally, a writer with balance that gives a glimpse at the top of the puzzle box enabling us to see what God is having us put together. You can read more about it here.

The second book is by Brian McLaren called, The Secret Message of Jesus : Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything. Read more about it here. Again another eyeopener. McLaren sent me two free copies I guess, because I have a blog that discusses emerging church issues(but I am not sure) that blog is found here. McLaren referred to NT Wright several times especially in the footnotes, which caused me to want to read Wright too. Caution: These two books will challenge you and cause you to think, they might even cause some late night discussion with your friends. They spoke in huge ways to my twenty year old son Jonathan.

As for the cookouts the first one we served 140 people, the second week it rained and we served about 40 kids in the church with class time etc. and this past Sunday we served about 110 outside it was kind of chilly, I wonder what will happen when it is hot. We could always use drinks and cookies and help. Most of all we need prayers as we are meeting the parent of the children we are working with. Thanks Jeff

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Another tribune article

Garden residents eat up Outreach fun

Editor’s note: The Kokomo Tribune publishes the “Good News, Good People” column. Tom Carey, community news editor, pens the articles, which spotlight local do-gooders and inspirational news. Carey may be contacted in care of the Tribune at 300 N. Union St., Kokomo, IN 46901.
Submissions may be dropped by the office or e-mailed to Carey at He may also be contacted at (765) 454- 8560 or toll free at (800) 382-0696,Ext. 8560.

A plate laden with chips, cookies and a mustard slathe dog in one hand, a frosty can of pop in the other, the youngster ever so carefully walked toward friends at Garden Square. Right before ally dumping the food. The Rev. Jeff Newton quickly and calmly hovered over him, assuring the youngster someone else would clean up. He then told the boy to go get some more munchies.

Meanwhile, other youngsters faced serious decisions. Would it be the root beer, they mused, standing over a tub of iced cans; maybe a cola or a red pop? Assembling food, parents and their children settled around the area, enjoying the repast, neighbors’ company and maybe some games.

Newton, pastor of nearby Trinity U.M. Church, also is executive director of Kokomo Urban Outreach. The group is an interdenominational network of churches, faith-based organizations and individuals who have a heart for hometown missions.

Sunday was the premiere barbecue/block party Outreach presented at the south side apartment complex. Such free events will begin at 5 p.m. each Sunday through August. Newton said about 140 folks were served Sunday night. Many were parents joined by their children and that pleased the pastor, who said the summer events will provide nights of family togetherness. Dean Bousom, resident coordinator at Garden Square, said parents were joining their children at the barbecue site, then visiting with neighbors.

“We had whole families out,which was good,” Newton said. After dining, some of the children
drew chalk figures; Outreach personnel chatted with the kids, then distributed food for them to take home.

Any kind of canned soda would be appreciated from donors, Newton said. He also said the ministry could use items, including:
• Cases of water
• Cookies
• Charcoal
• Flying discs, Hula Hoops, playground balls, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and other game items.
Those wanting to donate or get more info on the Outreach may call (765) 461-9618.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Cookouts and other amazing things

Sunday Night we had our first Cookout. We had twenty volunteers and served 140 people. Children drew on the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk and huddles of families sat on the ground and had a picnic. On Saturday morning we had a clothing/rummage giveaway. I wasn't there as Patric graduated from College. Hundreds of items were given away, however, like the loaves and fishes, everything multiplied. An interesting thing happened. Those who took the clothing, went home and brought over things they were using to share. We ended up with about 50 percent more items than we started with. Is this called community transformation? All the items left were given back to "Mustard seed Ministries"( a group that gives away clothes). They actually brought all the clothes in the first place. Last night there was a board of directors meeting for KUO, thanks to many of you reading this, our checking account is growing. For the first month of KUO's existence I worked for free, in the second month I was given 50 percent of my approved salary and last night I was given a raise to 75 percent of approved salary. God is blessing us!!!
I will now not have to yes every time I am called to sub at the school. Thanks for the prayers and your support.