Brooke brothers thank OCWM in sharing volunteer journey with delegates
Written by Jeff Woodard
July 5, 2011
the UCC is totally in Richard Brooke’s blood.
look beautiful," said a smiling Brooke, standing onstage Tuesday
morning alongside his twin brother, Max, and snapping pics of amused
General Synod 28 delegates.
September, the two 23-year-olds set out on a yearlong journey to
highlight – via photos, film, the “Twin Maps” blog, Facebook
and other social media – UCC Volunteer Ministries throughout the
country. Seventeen thousand miles, 36 states traveled through and two
job offers later, they shared their passion – and their humor –
with hundreds of delegates.
from Mt. Zion Congregational in China Grove, North Carolina,” said
Richard. “And we won’t be offended if you’ve never heard of
China Grove, North Carolina.”
year ago, we graduated from college,” said Max, “and because of
this fantastic and booming economy, we
we’d have employers just salivating to hire us. But they never
brothers met to discuss the mega-project with Mary Schaller Blaufuss,
UCC executive for Volunteer Ministries. They completed their work in
New Orleans this summer, and the rest is fraternal history.
we have one extremely smelly car to show for it,” said Richard.
birthday rolled around last Jan. 25, the Brookes found themselves in
southern Arizona, immersed in the trenches of the immigration
struggle, awash in a community’s compassion. They arrived in Tucson
just five days after the Jan. 8 shootings that claimed six lives and
critically injured 14 people, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
we met had an inextinguishable fire that fueled each of their
passions,” said Richard, “whether it’s fighting mental illness,
giving up their homes for people who needed shelter, or simply being
thing about changing the world is that one person can’t do it
alone,” said Max. “It can’t happen. It won’t. Their woes are
too great, their struggles too tedious to overcome with just one
person carrying the burden.”
drew hoots and hollers from the younger set when he said, “Support
the youth and young adults. They are passionate about their projects,
knowledgeable about the world and willing to offer assistance when no
one else will.”
it all, Max said he was grateful for Our Church’s Wider Mission,
encouraging Synod-goers’ support of it. “The story of OCWM was
the fuel in our gas tank, literally and figuratively.”
Richard, “Your gift to OCWM helps find shelter for the homeless,
nurture a promising organization or even agree to fund two kids with
cameras who want to travel the United States to see how the world