Dear Ones in Christ,
The third Monday in January has been determined to be the most
of the year based on an algorithm that factors in debt, weather and broken New Year's resolutions. This year the factors might also include a partial federal shut-down, stories of hateful rhetoric at the Lincoln Memorial and the news that more children were lost in the border separation than previously thought.
Of course, long before the "most depressing day" designation, the third Monday of January was earmarked as a day to remember Martin Luther King Jr.. In recent years, this day has also been promoted as a
national day of service
I realize that the MLK remembrance day was chosen as it is close to his birthday (January 15th), but it still amuses me that this most depressing day is being sabotaged by Grace. This is what people of HOPE do! They bring joy where there is only despair, they bring love where there is hate. When our congregations are at their best, it is what WE do. We find those places in our communities and in the world where there is suffering and brokenness, and in the name of Jesus Christ we bring hope.... and in the name of HOPE we bring them Jesus Christ.
My Facebook feed is filled with stories of congregations that are reaching out to their members and neighbors who have been challenged financially and emotionally by the partial shut-down. From congregational soup dinners to churches opening their doors for prayer and conversation - as people of faith we feel the call to respond to their needs because we know it is our calling. The Mission Coordinating Committee and others are trying to find ways to support these kinds of efforts and to network congregations that are working in similar ways. If your congregation is responding to this crisis, please let me know. Let me know so I can help make those connections... let me know so I can spread the news of the hope that you are bringing!
This is what we do. This is who we are. This is Whose we are.
Thankful for you and for your ministry of mission! - Karen