Archive for November, 2009

Twenty One Miles

IMG_0344The day started out with a laughing duck on a chilly Saturday morning. As we walked a long the rivers edge a duck consitantly chuckled. It made me laugh as we began our day. And what a beautiful day it was to kayak on the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh. The sun was shining and the ducks were telling jokes.

James and I told you all our goal was 20miles, as we climbed into our double kayak we were committed. We quickly realized that the day was just getting better and better as we shed layers and sang songs (well, I did most of the singing). Our first distance was from the Southside on the Monogehela River to the Highland Park Bridge on the Allegheny River. We stopped for lunch at PNC Park. At that point James and I realized we already did about 15miles!! After lunch we headed to Bruno Island on the Ohio River and then back to the South Side. Totaling 21.6miles!!

I believe it was on the way to lunch, with the brutal wind in our faces that I started singing “Left!” “Right!” in a rhythmic tone, just to keep us going.  Not only did this aid in our ministry via support, I believe it also was great for James and I to do this together. Truly it was a celebratory time for the both of us.

We are so thankful for you!  For those who have supported us financially and who have encouraged us along the way. All in all you have help us raise over a thousand dollars. Truly we are humbled and so thankful for you.



Here are some highlights of the day: IMG_0341












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Kayak-a-thon…THIS SATURDAY!

Hello Friends,

It is time again for the Kayak-a-thon!  As you may recall, last year I had 2 students and a co-worker paddle on my behalf to help boost my support raising efforts.  Well, this year Allyson, my wife, and I will be paddling together.  And this time we will split the funds, half to the Outdoor Leadership Team of the CCO and the other half to our personal ministry account.

The kayaking will occur THIS Saturday, Nov. 7th.  Our hope is to paddle 20 miles and raise a total of $2,000.  These funds will help the Outdoor Leadership Team provide scholarships for summer opportunities, equipment, and trainings for staff among other things.  They will also enable Allyson and I to continue doing ministry here in Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

So our question to you is, would you be able and willing to sponsor us for this year’s Kayak-a-thon? You can pledge a lump sum or per mile amount.  Every amount will help us reach our goal of $2,000!  As mentioned, our goal will be to paddle 20 miles in nine hours!  Contributions to CCO ministries are tax deductible. A pledge of even $1 or $2 will go a long way!

Questions? Simply comment on this or call James Whitacre at 614-560-5885.

If you would like to sponsor us, please reply as soon as possible (in fact, why don’t you reply right now!) with the following information:

1. Name

2. Address

3. Phone Number

4. Pledge amount (indicate per mile or lump sum)

5. Would you like to receive ministry updates from Al and James’ work with the CCO? (Please indicate electronic or paper format.)

For example:

Eager Supporter

123 Very Hilly St.

Pittsburgh, PA 15212



Yes! Sign me up for the electronic newsletter!


If you can’t sponsor me and want to receive a ministry update, please let me know.

After the event we will contact you to report how far we paddled and how you can fulfill your pledge.

The CCO partners with colleges, churches and organizations to develop men and women who live out their Christian faith in every area of life.  The staff of the Outdoor Leadership Team (OLT) invest in students’ lives often by suspending the normal rhythms of campus life through adventure activities ranging from one-day rock climbing trips to Spring Break kayaking expeditions.  (For more information about CCO or the OLT visit www.ccojubilee.org or www.ccojubilee.org/olt.)

Thanks so much for considering your pledge, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Take care,

James and Allyson

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What is Happening Here

For the past three weeks my co-worker, Patrick, and I have decided to start a bible study. This has been a somewhat recent developement over the course of last month. I, being honest, was hesitant because we started the study so late in the semester. I thought, no one will show…no one.  Well Patrick and I planned our study for Psalms. Not knowing who was coming or what to expect we decided to have our meetings at the Coffeehouse, since we are doing coffeehouse ministry.


The first day, one student came. In loss of heart we asked the student to come back next week, in hopes that at least two will show. Cutting it short that week, we waited for the next. Come the second week, that one student showed up again along with 6 others!!  We had to keep adding chairs to our small rectangular table. It was great, not because of the number–but what these students brought with them. They brought their minds, hearts, and listening ears. We are on our fourth week and I have been so impressed with these students. Not only do we talk about the Psalm, but they pull scripture from all over. These students have been referencing Old and New Testament, sharing their stories, and discussing the text. Also a handful of the students have stayed afterwardsto jam on their guitars and drum, singing worship songs and engaging in conversations.


Well, tonight we are tackling Psalm 2.  This one I have prepared for the group and I feel quite unprepared. I have wrestled with this Psalm and have seen some really interesting truths. I have come to know this Psalm, yet I am still struggling with how to communicate what I have learned and allowing them time to process the Psalm and its complexity. It is difficult and hard to swallow. I feel that I know it but I do not understand it fully.  Thankfully we serve a God that is greater than our understandings, and His Spirit creatively moves.  If you read this tonight, please pray for the Psalms study tonight. That I would be an instrument, and that these students would continue to grow and learn (as well as Patrick and I).


Thank you.

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