Dear Friends in Christ:
As I write this, I am looking out my window at a beautiful blue sky and warm sunshine. Aren’t you glad summer is finally here? In reality, I live for this weather to finally come. God’s creative beauty comes out in its fullness and my soul rejoices that He is so great and powerful, and yet He says He loves me with an everlasting love! Amen!
This month I would like to share from the Unofficial United Methodist Handbook some helps on how we as Christians can work for peace and justice on behalf of people who are poor and oppressed. It goes without saying that United Methodists have a long and extraordinary record of working for economic justice and relief around the world. Here are some things you and I can do:
- Include people who are poor and oppressed in your daily prayers. Keeping the needs of others in mind, especially people who suffer as a result of economic inequality, political oppression, or natural disaster is just a start. Remember to name specific situations in your prayers and use specific place names and people’s names whenever possible.
- Include people who are poor and oppressed in your personal or household budget. Dedicate some of your personal giving to economic-aid organizations. The United Methodist denomination has what is called, “second-mile giving”, offerings designated for relief agencies and specialized ministries over all of the world.
- Pay close attention to economic and political conditions in other nations. You can’t help if you don’t know what’s really going on. Resolve to be a well-informed person who tests the worldview in the news against the worldview in the Bible.
- Get to know organizations that work for justice locally. Consider taking responsibility to organize a ministry team in our church to do justice work in our neighborhoods.
- Make working for justice part of your weekly or monthly routine. Devote a portion of your time regularly to a specific activity that personally connects you to people who are poor and disenfranchised. There is no substitute for personal contact. John Wesley even called it a “means of grace.”
- Vote your conscience. If you are of voting age, remember that nations will be judged by the way they treat people who are disadvantaged. Keep this in mind when you go to your polling place. Remember to vote!
- Advocate for a cause in which you believe, one that has meaning for you personally. There are so many good causes out there, do a search and see what rings your bell. J
I am so grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you for your service to the Lord and His church. If I can be of any help to you, please do not hesitate to give me a call, email or even stop by for a personal visit.
God bless you richly in the days ahead.