Foundry United Methodist Church

Robert Blasdel, Foundry Youth




Youth Sunday

Sunday, June 18, 2006 Ė 11:00 a.m.



Matthew 5: 13-16




In writing this sermon I found myself inspired by the life and works of a great peacemaker, Giovanni di Bernardone.By all accounts, this man was filled to the brim with a light that he couldnít hide if he wanted to.


He was born the son of a wealthy cloth merchant and was loved by all who knew him. And he truly loved them back Ė so much so that he had this annoying and confusing habit (to his wealthy father anyway) of giving away all of his stuff periodically.Well, when his father finally got really tired of replacing his horse, house, money, clothes, a young Giovanni started begging at his churchís doors for the poor of Assisi for about six months until he had a vision.


In this vision he was instructed to rebuild the dilapidated chapel where he happened to be praying. So he got a dozen of his closest friends together and sold the last of everything he owned and everything of his fatherís that he could get his hands on, to get all of the materials he and his brothers would need for Christendomís first combined ASP-VIM project.Many of the people in the village that had allowed the chapel to deteriorate were so inspired by the friarsí singing and joyful mood as they worked, a light that young Giovanni had shared and could not be hidden, that they put down what they were doing and pitched in.


In another six months the village had a new chapel and Giovanni, now Francisco, had moved on to another church they had heard about with even more new brothers.They did this three times before Francisco felt called to go to Rome where he founded an order of Friars that persists to this day and was sainted upon his death to become St. Francis of Assisi.


Like young Giovanni, I have always found Foundry to be a light that would not be hidden. As I grew up in this Church, I have felt my heart strangely warmed by the generosity, kindness, compassion and acceptance to be found here.It is a preciously rare and beautiful thing to have a place that will take and love everyone, no matter how goofy your hair is.It is thus no mystery why we continue to grow in new members.


Also, like St. Francisí family and more proudly rich friends and then his brothers, we are sending forth many of our members to go and build and take our light with them. Our Volunteers in Mission group is going to Louisiana to rebuild homes and hearts swept away by the recent hurricanes.


We are also sending forth our youth to Hinton, West Virginia to rebuild homes and hearts, that, like Giovanniís chapel, have been left neglected and alone by the rest of the country with the Appalachian Service Project.


We are also sharing three ministers with other congregations: Debra, Peter, and Vicky, who will most certainly take the light they have shared with us and take it to those who need it more.


Then, as you have seen, we have a number of seniors in the youth program who are scattering across the country, including yours truly.I can only hope that we can bring a fraction of the warmth and light to be found here with you.