On 4/12/2016, Pastor Wayne Ivy from the First Christian Church of Conroe, spoke to the club members about how societies have evolved over the years to where we are today. Pictured in the photo from left to right are Barbara Provencher (Rotary Member), Pastor Wayne Ivy, and Kelly McDonald (Rotary Member).
Pastor Ivy began his talk asking the question of "Am I my brother's keeper?" and told everyone about the Biblical story of Cain and Abel and how this was the first murder spoken of in the Bible and how Cain tried hard to hide the murder of his brother from God, trying to shirk individual responsibility.
Pastor Ivy then told everyone that as the human family began to grow into early tribes, there was no such thing as individual responsibility as everyone in the tribe looked out for everyone else in the tribe and that feeling may still be alive today. This was called a tribal mentality with a group responsibility for everything. Next came the Feudal System where the "Lord of the Manor" or king owned everything but had the responsibility to take care of everyone in the system. Then came the rise of the church (Roman and Eastern Churches) where the church and government where intertwined but the church was responsible for taking care of the widows and the poor.
Pastor Ivy then pointed out that individual responsibility was first heard of when the United States of America was formed from the first 13 colonies. This rugged "pull yourself up by the boots" mentality was not only there at the beginning but is alive and well in many parts of the USA today. In fact, the areas around both Tomball and Magnolia show that this is true today. However, there are parts of the country where people depend more on the government. In America, the church was the first to take care of the widows and the poor. However, over the years, the country today is split between those who want the government to take care of everything (Hillary Clinton and the left) and those who want little or no government control (Conservatives on the right). Hillary wrote a book called "It Takes a Village" while Ann Rynd wrote a book called "Atlas Shrugged" . The two books are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Pastor Ivy then told everyone that it has been said that a society will be judged by history by how well it took care of the least of its people. Although America can easily be said to have the kindest people on earth (because they help all people around the world regardless of the need), if you look at all the money poured into trying to fix poverty from the New Deal to government handouts today, it can be honestly said that there is a larger percentage of the poor today then when the New Deal was started. It appears that all that the US Government has done over the years has failed miserably to solve the problem. As Jesus said in the Bible, the poor will be with us always.
Pastor Ivy then talked about the people in his church who he stated are some of the most giving people around by feeding the poor several times every week through food kitchens and a food pantry. He pointed out that the last words in every church service in his church are "Worship is over, let our service begin!". 
Pastor Ivy then asked a second question: "Why do we give ourselves for others?". Several people gave answers to that question and Pastor Ivy then said there are many reasons such as: 1) A want to "Pay it Forward" after being helped by someone else, 2) We are selfish because after giving of one's self for others, we discover that we always get more back than what we give, 3) To be admired, 4) For religious reasons, 5) To be a part of a giving group, and 6) Because it is the right thing to do. Pastor Ivy told everyone to never feel guilty about your motives for helping someone else because in the end it really does not matter because good things are the result of everyone's efforts.
Pastor Ivy then told everyone about a lady in his church he called Jane. He stated that Jane had lost her husband and that her son was not very helpful to her. In addition to the problems this caused for her, Jane also had poor health and at one point lost one of her legs to disease. For awhile everyone helped her get around in a wheelchair until she was finally fitted with an artificial leg and learned to walk again. However, no matter what she personally was going through, she was always upbeat and would help others before herself. The one thing she really liked is a weekly trip to the Red Lobster restaurant with Pastor Ivy and other church people. On one of these trips to Red Lobster, while walking into the restaurant, Jane's artificial leg came off and fell to the floor. Pastor Ivy immediately picked her up and took her to the women's restroom and sat her down before going out to pick up her leg where many people had gathered around the leg and were just staring at it. He picked it up and went back to give it to Jane but upon getting to the door to knock to get in, he heard Jane sobbing greatly. After asking if it was OK to come in, he discovered that Jane was not crying but was laughing so hard it sounded like she was. She asked Pastor Ivy if that was not the funniest thing (her losing her leg) he had ever seen? He agreed and they both laughed about it. Pastor Ivy stated that Jane's attitude about the whole thing was one of the best he had every seen.
To that end, Pastor Ivy suggested that everyone should always be kind to anyone we meet as almost everyone has a major problem that they are fighting that we are not aware of when first meeting them.
To find out more about Pastor Ivy's church, please visit: http://www.firstchristianchurchconroe.org/