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Like many others who have come to us from far away, Pastor David Celeskey from the Unity Reformed Church in Norton Shores came to Muskegon a few years ago after his growing up in the U.P. and finding his way into the ministry after "filling in" from his Youth Pastor role.  Everyone around him had all the traditional "red flags".  "Are you sure you want to go THERE?"  He came and saw for himself and realized what we all see.  A place that's filled with remarkable beauty both in it's people and it's nature and while there might be a dent or two to iron out, well, that's the job of any pastor, right?  Packed up the U-Haul and stayed a "Youper" but settled in amongst the "trolls" that live below the bridge.  It's a Michigan thing if you are reading this from afar.  There's no shame in either title, just some friendly finger pointing. 

 

With his feet planted and thoughts on his ministry, how to encompass the traditional along with the modern? How to activate a congregation and invite others?  How can his work in faith steer in the direction of improving community, the planet and the life of others by participating?  All of that and the thought too of how to be a little healthier and have some fun while you're at it.  Let's put on a run with some serious potential to not only fix up an area here, but...it can be modeled and moved anywhere, and turn fun into purpose for a renewal of distressed lands.

The Redeem Mi Land idea came to life.  From their website - "There are places that have had their beauty stolen from them. Forests and fields have been polluted, neglected, and abused. They were created with love and are worthy of their grandeur and dignity.  When land is redeemed, it is rescued from the burdens it bears, and restored to what it longs to be…"  The first event is going to be held in Montague on May 4th and the cause is to help restore an area that is now covered up, but at one point was the repository for the refuse in the area.  Just below the surface....the leftovers of a time where things like recycling, repurposing and renewal were not even considered are sitting there.  The land is just holding it all, waiting for someone to come along and "redeem" it.  Can you see how the metaphor is shaping up?  It's in the collective effort of a group that will help clean up and restore this piece of land, and through that....the understanding of what troubles most of us is probably just below the surface, waiting for that little nudge and that ounce of caring that can restore us too.  Imagine that sweeping the State of Michigan?  Imagine that sweeping through your soul?  Bout time to register for the first run of the season huh?

CLICK HERE to learn more about Redeem Mi Land and their mission.  Plan on a day of incredible unity and probably some people that can make an impact on you while they set out to make an impact in so many ways that will show the rest of the state, Youpers or Trolls, just what good comes out of Muskegon.  Our thanks to David for the invite to share this amazing project. 

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