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Pastor Lisa's Newsletter Article August

Newsletter Article August

As I am writing this I am looking out my office window and at the bright red poster hanging next to it on the wall that reads “Keep Calm and Carry On.” “Keep Calm and Carry On” is also tattooed on my arm. This phrase, that originated in England, has keep me going throughout my ministry and life.

In 1984 my sister Heidi lived in Alnwick a small town in northern England. She was doing her study abroad program through St. Cloud State there, and lived in the servant quarters of the Duke of Northumberland’s castle. In the fall of 1984 I went to visit her and fell in love with the place. For movie buffs the first Harry Potter movie was filmed there! One of the stops on that visit was to a used book store, Barter Books, one of the largest used book store in the world. It is at Barter Books that the journey of the phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” originated -here is the official explanation from the “Keep Calm and Carry On” website:

So what is this Keep Calm and Carry On thing all about then?

The Ministry of Information was formed by the British Government as the department responsible for publicity and propaganda during the Second World War. In late 1939 after the outbreak of the war, the MOI was appointed by the British Government to design a number of moral boasting posters that would be displayed across the British Isles during the testing times that lay ahead.


With a bold coloured background, the posters were required to be similar in style and feature the symbolic crown of King George VI along with a simple yet effective font. The first two posters, ‘Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory’ and ‘Freedom is in Peril’ were produced by His Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO). The third and final poster of the set was again very straightforward and to the point - it simply read ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’. The plan in place for this poster was to issue it only upon the invasion of Britain by Germany. As this never happened, the poster was never officially seen by the public.


It is believed that most of the Keep Calm posters were destroyed and reduced to a pulp at the end of the war in 1945. However, nearly 60 years later, a bookseller from Barter Books stumbled across a copy hidden amongst a pile of dusty old books bought from an auction.

In Mark 4: 36-40 Jesus and the Disciples get into a boat to escape from the pressing crowd: 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”


If Jesus spoke those words today and had a British accent I believe he would have said “keep calm lads, and carry on” “have you still no faith?” Just as the poster was intended to calm England during WW2 – these words from Mark always calm and center me. When my world gets overwhelming and the storms of life surge – all we can do sometime is be calm - be still and know that God is God and God is in control. If Jesus has the power to calm the seas - he can calm the seas in our lives.


So Keep Calm and Carry on!

Pastor Lisa

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Owatonna United Methodist Church

815 E University Street

Owatonna, MN 55060

507-451-4734
Worship: 9:00 a.m.
Sunday School at 10:00 a.m.

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