Dear St. Matthew’s Church Family,
I want to start by thanking everyone who came out last Sunday to help package meals for Rise Against Hunger. It took us just over 2 hours to put together and box up 40,000 meals. Several things inspired me, and I want to share them with you. First, we were able to partner with the Arise Campus Ministry and St. Georges UMC for this event. One of the strengths of The United Methodist Church is the connections we have with other congregations and ministries. We are able to do more together than we can do on our own. As individuals, and as congregations, we can too easily be isolated in our own little worlds. Events like the Fall Service Day remind us that God calls us to love and bless people in need around the world. When we partner with other Christians, we remember that we are not alone. We share common goals and a common purpose to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The 40,000 meals we prepared will witness to the love of Christ and transform lives.
The second inspiring aspect of Sunday’s event was the mix of generations working side by side to package the meals. What a great example of the Body of Christ at work. Everyone brought their gifts – from young children to senior adults and everyone in between. This is the Church at its best. This is how we accomplish God’s mission. This is how we make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
I know that packaging the meals at George Mason was more challenging than gathering at St. Matthew’s. But our presence on the campus was a witness to a community (young adults) that is often missing from Church. Many young adults see Christians as judgmental and uncaring. I believe that when we show up to feed hungry people, we show a different side of the Church, a side that I believe is faithful and hopefully attractive to people who are wondering what it means to follow Jesus. When we care for hurting and hungry people, we reveal what following Jesus is all about.
Finally, I continue to be impressed and inspired by Rise Against Hunger (formerly known as Stop Hunger Now.) I’m especially inspired by their audacious vision. Here’s what it says on their website: “Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable, mobilizing the necessary resources to end hunger by 2030.” I’m glad that we can join them in order to help end hunger in the next twelve years. Yes, it seems like an impossible dream. But I keep reminding myself that, according to Jesus, “for God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
On Sunday morning, we will conclude our sermon series about Half-Truths. The final message is about the phrase, “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin.” We’ll look at Matthew 7:1-5 and Romans 14:4-13 and see how we can continue to grow closer to Jesus as we learn to obey his teaching and follow his example.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.