Maranatha Class, January 31st and beyond

I am writing to remind you that this Sunday, January 31st, will be a “Brunch”.  That means, you should bring a dish of food as a “potluck” meal to share with everyone; bring as little or as much as you like.  If, for whatever reason, you are not able to bring a food item, then please don’t let this stop you from being there with us for informal social conversation.  The room will be arranged in rounds of tables rather than in the classroom style.

We will have one formal item on the schedule for this Sunday, that is a 15 to 20 minute, live demonstration of our new website by our “webmaster”, Barbara Meehan.  I think you will find this one-stop site for our Class to be a valuable resource should you decided to subscribe to its use.

I also want to give you an idea of how the year is stacking up with regards to Christian education for our Class.  Meredith and I have been working on a schedule that has quality teachers who will lead us in topics that reflect the theological diversity of our class’ membership.  In your evaluation responses, many of you suggested that we invite teachers from within our own Church but also beyond our own walls, especially taking advantage of such resources as Phillips Theological Seminary (PTS).  To that end, we have been moving forward with your suggestions.

Ginny Walker, a fellow Class member, has been instrumental in working to engage PTS faculty members to come to our class.  Thank you, Ginny!  Thus far, we have secured agreements from the following faculty to teach our class: Professors Bernard Brandon Scott, John L. Thomas, and Sandra Costen Kunz.  Phillips President Gary Peluso has also committed to teach for us.  We are negotiating one or more dates for their presentations in future months as well as seeking others from PTS to lead in our education series.

Dr. Scott, the Darbeth Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Phillips, will be teaching on Sunday, February 7th, and we are discussing his topic currently.  When we have defined that subject matter, we will forward more information to you.

Also, we have arranged for ministers at our own Church to teach in our Class including, at present, Debbie Petersen and Bill Crowell.

Finally, we invite those of you who wish to share your faith story or teach in our class to let us know so that we can add you into the year.  We are blessed in our class to have fine teachers who present not only at Boston Avenue but other churches and faith-related venues; we will be asking these folks to teach us as well.  Let us know if you have favorites who we can consider for the year.  Rob Reck will be teaching/reporting to us regarding his trip to England on February 14th, a Valentine’s gift for us all.

See you on Sunday at Maranatha!

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 4:34 am  Comments Off on Maranatha Class, January 31st and beyond  
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Maranatha, January 24, 2010

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
Mother Teresa

A classroom filled with Maranatha members and visitors; it was a great Sunday! Thanks to all who were there earlier today. We missed all those who were unable to attend; see you soon!

We celebrated several birthdays, including those of Thad Leonard (1/25), Rob Morgan (1/26), Judy Herriman (1/28), Brenda Spencer (1/29), Sarah Maldonado (1/30), and Susan Rose (1/30). No anniversaries were noted for the week. Karen and Olin Holmes, Nancy and Jerry Manduano were our Greeters, and they brought great refreshments, making it difficult to get people away from the table and in their seats.

We were blessed by the presence of several visitors, some new and others returning to the class: Patti and Gary Smith, Autumn Smith, and Catherine Cooper. Welcome; we hope to see you back again in the near future.

Suzy Meredith-Orr reported that a number of class members helped put together kits for Haitians that included hand towels, wash cloth, combs, nail file, bandages, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Over 50 kits were assembled by the volunteers last Friday evening; and, a number of other class members assembled kits at home, bringing them to the Church this morning. A job well done!

Suzy also announced that we will have another mission opportunity this Wednesday evening to prepare and serve a meal at the Day Center for the Homeless. Over a dozen people have agreed to help, but you are welcome to contact Suzy if you wish to volunteer even if you haven’t already signed up for this opportunity.

Pam Sherman reminded us that the next social event is a Valentine’s Dinner at Ti Amo on Friday, February 12th; contact Pam if you are interested and have not already signed up for this activity.

Several concerns were shared with us this morning, including a friend of Pam whose had a recurrence of a brain tumor, the father of Meredith’s work associate who is not responding to treatment following heart surgery, and for Richard, a recently released offender who, after serving many years in prison, faces the challenge of readjusting to the world outside. Janet Purinton offered our prayer today.

We were blessed by the teaching of Darlene Tegeler who reviewed a book by Reverend Dr. James Moore, entitled “Seize the Moment”. Her presentation gave us much to think about and act on for how we behave and respond to “moments” in our life, both big and small, in which we can practice our faith. “Seize the Moment”, perhaps a motto for us, individually and as a class!

There were several announcements that did not make it into the agenda this morning:
· The “New Life Divorce Support Group”, an 8 week group for those who are separated, divorced, or going through divorce, will be facilitated by Linda Algeria, LCSW, beginning February 3, Wednesday, 6pm to 7:30pm. A fee of $40 will cover all 8 weeks. Call Linda at 970-6765 to enroll in the group.
· As pointed out by Dr. Biggs in the Church’s service, members of the Frontiers Class will facilitate a series of lessons on “Financial Peace” using the material created by Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University. Interested? Contact Reverend Bill Crowell, 699-0127.
· We received a “thank you” and an accounting for the Class’ $100 donation to Restore Hope Ministries.

Next week is our Brunch, an informal pot-luck gathering of members and visitors largely for the purpose of informal conversation. A brief presentation will be provided by Barbara Meehan who has been developing our new Class website. She will explain the site’s capacity, how to use it, and give us a live demonstration. It’s great, a one-stop, Internet-based vehicle to discover Maranatha news, events, and opportunities to serve!

We hope to have Rob Reck, a fellow Class member, give us a report on his exciting trip to London during our session on the first Sunday in February. Definitely something to look forward to!!

Have a wonderful week; “seize the moment”!

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 7:22 am  Comments Off on Maranatha, January 24, 2010  
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Class Officers – 2010

Presidents: Richard and Meredith Wansley

Vice Presidents for Funds: Bob Russell, Sharon Earley, Bill Gertsen, Shari Goodwin

Vice Presidents for Missions: Suzy and Denny Meredith-Orr

Secretary: Sharon Earley

Treasurer: Kevin Meehan

Reporter: Lynn Russell

Chairs: CARE-anatha: Karen Campbell, Barbara Meehan

Chair: Social Events: Pam Sherman

Chair: Food and Greeters: Beverly North

Chairs: Auction: Michelle Place, Lynn Russell

Historian: Pam Low

Published in: on January 24, 2010 at 8:11 am  Comments Off on Class Officers – 2010  

Maranatha, January 17, 2010

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Friends,

We had yet another great class earlier today, with many of our class members able to attend.  For those of you who could not be present with us, we missed you, and hope to see you soon in class!

We acknowledged several people who will be having birthdays this week, including Martha Blevins (January 21st), Joyce Justice (January 21st), and Pam Snodgrass (January 22nd); the Jennings, Teri and Mark, will celebrate an anniversary (January 18th).  Happy Birthday and Anniversary to you!

Our Greeters who also provided refreshments were Skip and Paula Scott as well as Allene and Rex Donley.  Thank you!

We had some visitors, Amanda and Matt DeDonder, Patti and Gary Smith, and Meriel P. Evans.  Welcome, come again, join our class!

Bob Russell and Meredith Davison Wansley reported on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative events being held today and tomorrow (Monday).  Boston Avenue Church is a main sponsor of these events, and Bob is a member of the MLK Board of Directors.  Later today, a march will be held leading from downtown to Boston Avenue Church where a worship service will be held for all who attend the march as well as others wishing only to attend the service.  Bob, Meredith, and many other Maranatha class members will participate in these events.

Denny Meredith-Orr reported on an opportunity for class members to help with the relief effort for the those in Haiti.  The class will sponsor purchase of supplies to package for the United Methodist Commission on Relief (UMCOR) to distribute to needy Haitians.  Further, we will also be putting the package together at some point in the next week.  The supplies are simple, but essential, items such as toothbrushes, wash clothes, bandages, and other items.  Allene Donley stepped up by offering to provide the toothbrushes.  We’ll be putting together about 50 packages.  Denny will contact you about the time and date for when and where you can come to help out with this effort.  If you wish to contact him or Suzy, please use the following E-mail: odms2(at)

Pam Sherman reminded us that the February social will be a Valentine’s Dinner held at Tia Amo, the restaurant’s Southside location, February 12th.  Contact Pam if you are interested in more information or signing up: psherman(at)  Please remember that this is an “everybody” event, not just a “couples” event;  you’re all “sweethearts”!!

Several class members expressed concerns, for David and his son Eddie, the family of Jerry who died earlier this week, Karl, the employees of the City who face layoffs and furloughs, and Dee Copeland.  Please let Karen Campbell or Barbara Meehan know if you have concerns that should be shared to the class before next Sunday or if you feel there is a need for “care”.  Our class prayer was given by Scott Morgan.

The Reverend Ken Tobler was our teacher today, and we were blessed by his continued presentation to us regarding the unique way that Jesus told his stories as lessons for our faith and life.  Next week, our teacher will be the Reverend Debbie Peterson, followed on January 31st by a Brunch where we will hear about our class’s new website.

Blessings to all,

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

*Note that you will need to type email addresses into an email program substituting “@” for “(at).” I have edited email addresses so that recipients will not pick up additional spam from autobots that might be searching our posts. Also, for contact information, you can find our newest roster on the Class Member Page. -brm

Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 1:06 am  Comments Off on Maranatha, January 17, 2010  
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Email from Nancy Manduano

Nancy wrote late Sunday in response to the class news that Richard emailed that afternoon:

Thanks for email. Had to miss last 2 weeks my father had surgery at
Cleveland clinic doing very well. Were supposed to
Come home today but Cleveland airport lost power . No flights out. Hope to see you next week. Nancy Manduano

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 6:10 am  Comments Off on Email from Nancy Manduano  

Maranatha, January 10, 2010

“Without faith, nothing is possible; with it (faith), nothing is impossible”

Mary McLeod Bethune

Thank you for your acceptance of Meredith and me as your Presidents in 2010.  We are excited about the new year and the ability to work with magnificent people who are serving as other offices for our Class.

Earlier today, we had a large number of Class members who heard a lesson given by Reverend Ken Tobler; Ken will continue to “surprise, shock, and, perhaps, offend” us next week as he continues his teaching.  If you weren’t able to attend this week, we’ll be looking for you next week.

We recognized several members who are having birthdays in the next several days, including David Rose, Jim Seymour, and David Worthington. No anniversaries this week.

Refreshments and greetings were provided by Debbie and Neal Pascoe as well as Jennifer Hall.

Several concerns were raised for others, including Noel Copeland; a friend, Chuck, who lost his wife; Jim’s friend (Charlie Snow) who died, Charlie’s wife and daughter; Kim who lost her son.  The prayer was delivered by Shari Goodwin.

Announcements highlighted the Dinners (or, better named, “Meals”) for 8 (contact Pam Sherman for more information).  Pam also is planning a February social as a “Valentine’s Dinner” at Ti Amo on February 12th (again, contact Pam if you are interested).  Shari Goodwin solicited volunteers to participate in a Focus Group on the “church/denomination and HIV/AIDS”.  Contact Shari if you are interested in being a part of this Group.  Denny and Suzy Meredith-Orr reminded us that our next mission opportunity is January 27, helping at the Day Center for the Homeless.  Let Denny or Suzy know if you are willing to participate and have not yet signed up for this activity.

We had visitors this morning, Carol and Dave Grim, and Beth Lyons.  We encouraged them to return next week; look for them and welcome them!

If you have any Caranatha announcements or requests for help from our very giving class, contact either Karen Campbell or Barbara Meehan, or me.

You are welcome to get in touch with me at any time.  Use the E-mail, richard.wansley(at),* or call me on my cell phone, 918/520-8787.

By Later this month, we hope to announce the opening of a new Maranatha Class website/blog that will be a “one-stop” communication tool for the class. At that time, communicating needs, your thoughts, mission opportunities, and social events will all be possible through this site. Our thanks to Barbara Meehan for her dedicated work on this project.  Until that time, however, please use our individual E-mail addresses, and, of course, telephone numbers.

Have a terrific week!

Richard Wansley and Meredith Davison

*Note that you will need to type Richard’s email address into an email substituting “@” for “(at).” I have edited his email address so that he will not pick up additional spam from autobots that might be searching our posts. Also, for contact information, you can find our newest roster on the Class Member Page. -brm

Published in: on January 10, 2010 at 7:30 pm  Comments Off on Maranatha, January 10, 2010  
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Jess Evans Update

From Melanie Evans:

Jess (Rick Evans’s father) was released from the hospital today and is doing very well. Rick and Melanie have returned to their home in Florida. She says, “Thanks for everyone’s prayers and good wishes. Even when we didn’t need a thing, it’s great to know we have so many good friends that care.”

Published in: on January 3, 2010 at 10:10 pm  Comments Off on Jess Evans Update  

Hello world!

Welcome to the first web-based home of the Maranatha Class of Boston Avenue United Methodist Church.

Published in: on January 3, 2010 at 6:27 am  Comments Off on Hello world!