Over these past 4 months, I have been unbelievably grateful for First Street Methodist Mission for a variety of selfish reasons. I wanted to offer this love letter to the ministry that has ministered to me in these past 4 months. So to Linda, Bernie, Kathryn, the volunteers, the board, and all of you have donated: thank you.
I hope you heard Rev. Lance Marshall and Dr. Mike Marshall share the exciting news on Sunday morning about current giving here at FUMCFW. Total giving — giving that supports designated ministries, programs, Next90, and partner organizations — is up an amazing 30% in comparison to 2019. Thank you! First Church’s response should not be surprising, because after all, that is part of our DNA – putting discipleship into heartfelt action.
Since March 14, 2020, when covid hit and the quarantine started, we have received more than 300 new requests for legal and financial help — requests that we recognize as social symptoms of the virus just as surely as a pulmonologist recognizes shortness of breath as its physical symptom.
The first beatitude, “blessed are the poor” in Luke’s gospel, reads “blessed are the poor in spirit” in Matthew’s gospel. Jesus is not telling people to be poor, or poor in spirit so they can gain the kingdom of heaven. He’s making an announcement — God is for the poor. The question for the church is — who are we for?
For all the questions we may fairly ask about the story of Cain and Abel, there are a few critical issues that must not get lost in our questions about the text. What does it really mean to “be my brother (and sister)’s keeper? In the words of Elie Wiesel,”do your best.” Here’s a little bit more about how that might look in today’s world.
So what can we as a church — and what can we as individual Christians — say and do in response to the death of George Floyd, the resulting outrage and demonstrations, and the looting and burning by a minority of the protesters? There is at the core of each of us a presence of God that abhors this racism, injustice, and oppression — and will bring us out of it together.