This Summer: “Go in Peace. Remember the Poor.”

This Summer:
“Go in Peace.
Remember the Poor.”

Go in Peace. Remember the Poor. is one of the dismissal charges we often hear as we leave worship on Sundays. Enthusiastically we respond Thanks be to God. But, what does it mean to remember the poor? What does it look like for this to be a spiritual discipline or exercise that we apply to our lives? How do we actively respond to such a charge?

There are many ways one could remember the poor, but here are three ways I’m inviting you to exercise this summer.

Walking in Their Footsteps
Messiah’s SERVE Strategies Team is inviting us to solidarity with our global neighbors mired in the refugee crisis. In particular we will walk with Sudanese refugees fleeing the war, drought and famine which have plagued South Sudan.

The Big Read (June)
The DISCIPLE Team invites you to remember the poor by joining in Messiah’s version of The Big Read. Throughout June you are invited to read the book “Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference” by Warren St. John. This is the extraordinary tale of a refugee youth soccer team and the transformation of the small southern town of Clarkston, GA due to an influx of refugees in the 1990’s. Each Sunday at 9:00 am we will gather in the Fellowship Hall to discuss our reactions to the book.

Prayer, Fasting, and Advocacy
Our Bishop, The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, along with the Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, have issued an invitation to prayer, fasting, and advocacy in opposition to proposed federal budget cuts to programs vital to people struggling with poverty.

In a joint letter, the two bishop’s state:
We fast to fortify our advocacy in solidarity with families who are struggling with hunger. We fast to be in solidarity with [refugees] who suffer famine, who have been displaced, and who are vulnerable to conflict and climate change. We fast with immigrants who are trying to make a better future for their families and now face the risk of deportation.
We will challenge proposals to eliminate or defund proven anti-poverty programs, at home and abroad.
God’s intention is the flourishing of all people, and we are called to participate in God’s loving purpose by standing with our neighbors who struggle with poverty and hunger…We commit ourselves to and invite our members to one day of fasting [the 21st of] every month to undergird our efforts to convince…Congress to protect poverty-focused programs.

Three Spiritual Exercises
Three ways to remember the poor. Three ways to turn your Thanks be to God into action. This summer I invite you to join me and Messiah as we Go in Peace. Remember the Poor.

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