Nenana Wellness Coalition
July 16, 2013
The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate, and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
There were 13 in attendance today, including: Kat McElroy, Jessica Durtsche, Bonnie Reed, Harriet Borst, Bill, Rebecca, William & Emily Troxel, Miles Martin, Virginia Young, Bonnie Reed, Bob & Jill Stringfellow and Tim Horn. We enjoyed smoked turkey enchiladas and mixed green salad, Ritz crackers with sliced cheese and raisins and pecans for lunch.
WELCOME followed by the READING OF MISSION STATEMENT, by this week’s chair-person:Tim Horn.
PRAYER was led by Bob Stringfellow, followed by the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIENCE
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There were no additions to the agenda as presented.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes were posted at the WIN link at http://www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: No new guests today.
Nenana Bible Church: Pastor Robert Stringfellow began his remarks by saying that he had just returned from a fishing trip to Chitina, where he caught a bad cold. He said he was born in 1944, and raised in Pennsylvania, where he met his wife at age 5, in Sunday school. He was introduced to church via a youth group, and he was mostly interested, he said, in the food and the games. He did learn to pray, and came to know he would go to heaven.
Bob graduated high school and joined the Air Force, where he was a drinker and a smoker and made trouble for himself. A self-imposed crisis lead him to thoughts of suicide. He made a pact with God, instead, and requested to be relieved from duty so he could go to Bible college. This was at the height of the Viet Nam conflict, and the chaplain who forwarded his request to the Pentagon did not think he would have any chance of his request being granted. In fact he himself had despaired of it being accepted and was slipping back into old behaviors of drinking and smoking, when his request suddenly did come through and he found himself rapidly in college.
A reluctant student in high school, he found that now he really had to study, two hours of study for every one hour of class room instruction. Even at that, he was only able to get C’s. He married his wife, who had become a teacher, and fortunately she taught him how to study. He said that he has come to believe in every word of the Bible. This is why he and his wife came to Nenana Bible Church.
He provided Bibles for WIN members to follow along. He cited Mathew, Chapter 4, “Man cannot live on bread along.” The words of Jesus, he said, all harken back to the Old Testament. “Jesus was a Jew. Every time he preached, his words lead back to Old Testament passages.” He cited Mathew, Chapter 8, verses 4 and 5, and Chapter 10, verse 12. “The words of Jesus are the words of God,” he said, citing Chapter 10, verse 12 and Chapter 19, verses 3, 5, and 16. “Jesus was always saying, ‘Haven’t you read?’, and ‘It is written….’ because he based his teachings on the Old Testament.
He said that he is distressed about the way people are today. “Every day our nation walks farther away from God,” he said, “Now other nations are sending missionaries to our country, because we have strayed so far.” He said that in their church they have what he called Sword Drills to see who can find scriptures the fastest.
He read John Chapter 10 verses 22-30: At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
“I do not understand this myself,” he said, “But God is plural. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The first name for God in the ancient Hebrew texts,” he said, “Is Elohim, which is a plural noun.”
Miles asked where and when Nenana Bible church meets. They are catty-corner across from the library, at Second and Market Streets, and meet Sundays at eleven A.M. in the summer and Wednesday evenings. There was some discussion about the history of the Nenana Bible church which was begun originally by soldiers from Eielson and a couple of school teachers. The Eldridges ministered there at one time.
Bob and Jill excused themselves from the last part of the meeting due to his head cold. Fishing was good, he said, they caught 120 sockeyes.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: Each and every thought, be it of depression or happiness, irritation or calmness, anger or serenity, does actually cut subtle grooves in the brain cells and strengthen the tendencies towards illness or well-being.
Harriet: Not here very often. Says the squirrels have been picking, and not eating, her tomatoes. What to do? Also, she got a butternut squash and it was full of seeds that had sprouted! So, she has potted them to see if they will grow.
Kat: Suggested Harriet put out tins of peppermint schnapps. The squirrels will get drunk and forget about her tomatoes. She would like to have one of those squash plants. David and Leon are out stoking hay; she is a grass widow.
Virginia: It was a light peony year, maybe due to the heat, and she has about wound up operations for the summer.
Jessica: Has started work at Railbelt. She will continue working part-time evenings at the living center as they are short-handed.
Bonnie: Community Pride and Village Safety meeting tonight, 6:30 PM, at the tribal hall. She says it is too bad there were not very many people at the clothing give-away Saturday; there were lots of children’s clothes there for free. Molly Ames’ children came for the Memorial service and brought wonderful food, herring eggs and other delicacies.
Rebecca: Pretty busy settling in to their new house on 7th street, getting everything unpacked. She moved her garden, and her dirt and compost piles. The garden is exploding and they have been eating regularly from it. Aerin is off at camp. Ethan is counting his profits from selling root beer floats July 4th and is planning on making this an annual event.
Jeannie is planning the next Freecycle, August 2nd (which is also the first day of the Tanana Valley Fair; theme: Salmon Enchanted Evening) tentatively scheduled to happen at the RV park. She (Rebecca) will be going to Glenallen to visit, with Emily and William.
Bill: Plans are already being made for the second annual Nenana Gospel Fest; the first was a huge success and all the participants want to come back for more. They are planning to have more softball games, Mondays and Wednesdays, 7-9 PM.
KIAM wants to advertise Nenana events, call or email them about your happenings.
Miles: This is the first time in 40 years that he will not be attending the Tanana Valley Fair as a vendor.
Tim: Tuesday they got a motorcycle for William. He needs to get his MC endorsement on his license so Carl drove it home from Fairbanks.
Her sister Shelly is coming in from Minneapolis to visit. They will have musical devotions July 26, with a BBQ, beginning 5:30, at Bonnie’s if the weather is good or in the Baha’i church if weather is inclement.
The Nenana book club is reading The Great Bridge about the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
ADJOURNMENT: 1:37 PM