Greetings, Dear Church!
As we talked at the Annual Meeting, we are in a place where Church has to take form in new and far reaching ways…I have ideas, I hope you do as well. I understand that part of our vision has to include fund raising, I can also tell you that money will not save us. Our ministry is to be focused on Jesus Christ and how God calls us to share the good news of Jesus come to us.
What does it look like to share our faith as a community of believers? That is up to you—all of you! I have a student who is gung-ho on starting a food bank for students. Bethany College is too small to sustain a bank for only itself. I had begun in November to think and talk and pray about a Food Bank for Lindsborg. I truly believe that Messiah can be the inceptor and pilot place for supporting people who live in food insecurity in our community. There are commodities programs we can tap into, and from there, we would need a person to coordinate collection and dissemination of food through our doors.
“What? We’ve never done anything like that!“ “Who will take care of this? Who will be the go- to person to make sure it all goes smoothly?” “All those people in and out of our building? What will be the wear and tear on our floors? Our tables? Our space?” “Is there a real need? In Lindsborg? At the College?”
I had a student show up at my office a little after 6 p.m. this Wednesday, January 29th. She was planning to use the microwave in the Pastor’s Living room to make popcorn. I said, “Is this your dinner?” “Yes,” she replied, “it’s also breakfast and lunch. We (she has a roommate) have no food ‘til Monday when we get paid.”
I told her of resources available: TACOL vouchers, a meal in the cafeteria through a special fund Student Development has set up, even the Food Bank in McPherson or Salina. She was hungry and had a night class at 7. I took her home, made eggs, and sent her with a bag of food.
There is a real need.
No one knows any of the answers to a dream. A dream without action is just a hope. There is an African Proverb that says, “when you pray, move your feet.” I am working to move my feet. I hope you will walk this walk with me, in whatever form it takes as the path evolves.
Messiah has a history of doing unusual things for the sake of the gospel. Haven’t I heard that at one point you brought refugees here and housed them until they got on their feet? We have the only infant care facility in Lindsborg—they need us to keep solvent when they have low census. Through us they have no overhead and we, hopefully, take good care of the space for them. (I know one couple who take their infant to Moundridge for child care…daily.)
We are in a unique position to share God’s love through our abundance. This is not to say that we are not in need of money. We are. We did not pass the -$31,000 budget. We decided to side step that action and work on fundraisers, perhaps finding a way to revamp our needs. New AC units are not going to feel negotiable this summer. Crumbling walls will not suddenly be repaired. We have a call to steward our faith, not only through care of that with which we have physically been entrusted; we are called to steward people and creation. God works in unity, not in isolation. It’s been my experience that the more we focus internally, the more the structure of our faith crumbles and we lose sight of Christ as our center.
Our CommUnity is in Jesus Christ. We have a call on our lives as the community of believers at Messiah to share God’s message of love, hope, forgiveness, and grace to the world, beginning outside our doors. Let us begin the hard conversations about what it looks like to really put the faith of our fathers into today’s world, the world of our children.
Blessings be upon us, Church, as we walk forward into a new way of living God’s love. ~Pastor Amy