Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we we heard from Dick Burdick who owns Byrd Brothers Trucking. Today he came to share about his work in jail and prison ministry.

Dick began by stating, “About 20 years ago I had a religious experience which made a huge difference in my life. I gave up alcohol, smoking and Graeters Ice Cream and lost 50 pounds. At that point I wrote a business plan, became a Catholic and focused on Matthew 25”. After all this, Dick felt lead to begin a prison ministry.

He said there are 3 prerequisites for this type of work:
1 You can't be afraid
2 Realize you are not walking alone
3 You cannot have a value judgment of people

At first Dick was assigned to the Queensgate facility which is now shut down. There are roughly 14 chaplains for Hamilton County. Typically men work with men and women work with women unless the women are really strong in “motherly” gifts. A chaplain is on call 24 hours and often must deliver bad news to inmates such as a death of a loved one. There are also inmates who have diseases and many other needs. The goal is to simply provide care and comfort to the inmates through the Scriptures.

Eventually, Dick went on to work in the prison system. He began in Lebanon which has 2 prisons and interestingly is the last prison in the US which makes license plates. There are 5 security check points to get into the prison (there is only 1 in the jail). The Catholics are not well received in these prisons due to religious friction. The Muslims overran the previous chaplain. After some time, Dick was able to create 45 minute segments of teaching liturgy, Bible, current events, adoration (all denominations pray to God together) and praying the rosary. Things began to catch on and Dick started a program called RCIA which is the Right of Christian Initiation for Adults so adults can become Catholic. Over time things grew and we had to create more space for our meetings. 22 guys converted to Catholicism on our first Easter together. There is now even a Christian cell block where inmates are allowed to move from cell to cell.

Dick began “Transforming Jail Ministry” out of Blue Ash. They have a contract with the Hamilton County Sheriff and monitor all chaplains and worship teams who work in the jails. They also pass out cookies at Christmas time. Presently, Dick deals with inmates who have been released by assisting them in finding jobs and getting their families on track.

The business plan for Byrd Brothers Trucking involves food, paper and manufactured goods. Dick runs the company on a “1/3 plan” which he developed based on his understanding of the Trinity. He owns a third of his equipment, rents a third and leases a third. They do business in 3 states. All drivers & employees must be hazmat endorsed so they can know how to handle chemicals.
Next week we will hear from Mac Hickman who will speak on youth exchange.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we we heard from Phil Boyer who spoke on the subject of General Aviation.

Phil gave us a simple way to understand general aviation. He stated, “if it is not commercial airline or military airline then it is general aviation”. 166 million passengers per year travel general aviation where the airlines won't go. This is more than American Airlines, United Airlines & Northwest Airlines combined. Just as we have a system of roadways, general aviation has a similar system. This system and its airports bring jobs and business to cities as well as millions of dollars (directly & indirectly) to the local economies where airports are located. There is around $150 Billion derived annually by the U.S. because of general aviation

Other interesting facts include:
For every airline flight there are 5 general aviation flights
5288 general aviation airports in the US
Many general aviation planes have access to 19, 815 public & private airports and heliports
70% of all airline passengers use only 30 airports
70% of business & industry use general aviation
Many of the deliveries we receive daily use general aviation
Farmers and Ranchers use general aviation to produce twice the crops they would without it
Environmental management uses general aviation
Public Safety & Disaster Relief
News & Entertainment
67% of all airline travelers generally travel for personal reasons
The average age of student pilots is 35-65 years old

Security is definitely a concern at general aviation airports and many precautions are taken. However, pilots generally know their passengers and also know what cargo is on board. General aviation airports even began a program called “Airport Watch” with 650,000 pilots on watch and they offer literature, videotapes and training.

Next week we will hear from Dick Burdick who will share about Prison Ministry

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we we heard from Greg Sojka who is the Dean of UC Clermont College

Greg began by sharing that in the fall of 2012 the college will be 40 years old. The college is setup in a very simple way and offers what Greg calls the “3 A's”...Academics, Accessibility & Affordability. Their mission statement is, “The University of Cincinnati Clermont College embraces life-long learning in a dynamic and supportive open-access educational community that fosters intellectual, cultural and social development”.

In just a very short time since they took occupancy, the new UC East building space has reached capacity. UC has requested to be allowed to use more space in order to move additional classes to the facility. At UC East they offer nursing, criminal justice, paralegal studies, early childhood education, Allied health, TRIO Grants & Outreach programs. The faculty has also grown from under 100 in 1996 to over 205 in 2011.

From 2000-2011 the enrollment has nearly doubled from 2185 to 4626! A majority of the “feeder” high schools are local including Glen Este, Amelia, Milford, Western Brown, Batavia and Clermont North Eastern which are the top “feeders”. In 2004 the number of degrees given out were 310 and in 2011 it was 359. All of their efforts are focused on helping students get to the finish line.

At one time regional campuses were places to begin your advanced education and then you would finish at a main campus. Today, the trend is push bachelor degrees out to regional campuses. Typically students who graduate from this regional campus stay in the area which is why UC wants to remain committed to this region.

The college has goals of:
Growing bachelors options close to home
Developing as the college of first choice
Creating Ohio's premier teaching and learning campus
Serving as the regions primary source of trained employees

Next week we will hear from Phil Boyer

Radka of Czech Republic is our 2011-2012 exchange student

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we we heard from Tara McFadden, a nurse at The Christ Hospital.

Tara's presentation was on “Raising Awareness about Organ Donation”. Many people face serious health issues who go through numerous tests and end up in need of an organ donation. Sadly, patients often experience the joy of being told an organ is available but after several tests find it is not a match.

Every year more than 6500 people die awaiting a transplant. Organs which can be donated include the heart, lung, pancreas, kidneys, lungs, liver and the small bowel. The living can donate kidneys, a portion of the liver or pancreas as well as living tissue. Most donors live normal, healthy lives after donating and their life expectation usually does not change.

Here are some interesting statistics:
111, 778 patients are on the transplant waiting list as of 7/22/11
60, 758 of those waiting are multicultural
550 of those waiting are in the Tri-state area
Over 3000 of those waiting are in Ohio
There is a 113 day wait for heart transplants
The wait for a kidney transplant is almost 4 years
70% of organ needs are for kidneys
44% of organ donors are living
56% of organ donors are deceased

Who can donate?
Anyone can register and there is NO COST to the donor or their family. You can sign up at the Ohio driver license bureau or by signing an organ donor card at www.organdonor.gov .

Some might be concerned that becoming an organ donor might impact their medical treatment in the event they are in some kind of need. However, organ donation does not impact the treatment you receive. Surgical teams are focused solely on saving your life. A separate team from the surgical team is involved in the organ transplant.

Next week we will hear from Greg Sojka of UC Clermont College