June 28, 2010

Christians come to temple's aid

I'm a real sucker for good news lately. We hear so much of the bad.

A lot of you have probably heard about the Cambodian Buddhist temple in Rochester, Minnesota, that has been repeatedly vandalized—shrubbery uprooted, a spray-painted "Jesus Saves" message, and so on—but here's something to feel good about from the Post-Bulletin—a Christian group has come to the temple's aid:

With simple actions—pulling weeds, mowing grass, planting hostas—a group of volunteers sent some big messages Saturday afternoon at the Cambodian Buddhist temple in southeast Rochester.

Around 25 volunteers from Carefest, an annual church-organized volunteer event, spent the day doing landscape work at the temple, which has been repeatedly targeted by vandals since it opened in 2003

Jon Harris, a 14-year-old Carefest volunteer, says "We aren't prejudiced. We care about everybody."

So let's hear it for Carefest!

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Trey Merritt's picture

Jesus and Sid get along great. Their people would benefit enormously from follow them.

Clinton's picture

This is beautiful.

Ed's picture

The St. Francis prayer quoted above is an all-time favorite of mine. As far as I have migrated from my traditional Christian practice, this is still a prayer I pray almost every day. Thank you, Isolde.

Carefest is a nice idea, and it's great to make an annual festival out of caring. Now let's work to make compassion as monotonous and unfestive as, say, sneezing.

Mary Ann Wuebker's picture

How good of you all to do this. It is always amazing, and saddening, to me to hear of judgement of others ways of worship and lifestyle done "in Jesus' name". He taught tolerance and love of one's neighbor above everything. Self-righteousness and cruelty have no place in Christianity, or in any other religion.
I also humbly hope that those of you who helped these people did it truly out of a spirit of compassion, not from a place of 'saving' them by setting some example a 'better way'. If we are to truly learn to live together in peace we must learn that there is no one "right" way, that each of us must walk our own path. And that that is not up to us to judge.

Chris's picture

Good news! It's refreshing to have some with so much bad news today. It's also refreshing to see people work together.

Isolde's picture

I am surprised that people are surprised. Christ always preached compassion for other people, helping others when they are suffering, caring for the sick and the dying. Indeed, St. Francis of Assisi's prayer reminds us that these values do not belong only to Christians. Read his prayer, it's actually quite "Buddhist" too. It is the prayer of someone who has devoted his life to the spirit and to humanity. It is about giving, not taking; about looking outside our narrow selves.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Zack's picture

Great story about great people.

Debra Masters's picture

I did write to Larry and he is as gracious one-on-one as the actions of the group were to the Temple. Just wanted you to know this is what he wrote me:

Dear Debra,
Your words are incredibly kind! We feel that since our precious Savior Jesus valued people enough to lay down His life to save the human race, should not we as His followers, serve our friends in trouble? With Jesus' second coming perhaps just around the corner, we want to help everyone know that God's life-giving hope reaches out to everyone. Thanks for your encouraging note!
Warm regards,
Larry

Debra Masters's picture

Thank you. I am so glad to hear of this kindness.

Jo's picture

If anyone feels so moved, you may write to the coordinators of Carefest in Rochester to thank them personally. I know I will.

Laura Carroll's picture

Thank you for your kind help, Carefest. It's so important to witness for tolerance and love. May you be well.