Question: How do we serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in the world around us? In our local communities? Within the state of Maine? Across the wider world?
The following are the responses to this question by Maine Episcopalians – real people – in the fall of 2010.
We act locally and reach out with the hands of Jesus’ teachings all around and beyond our boundaries. We are in our local communities through our many soup kitchens and in much wider realms by reaching Haiti survivors from the terrible earthquake in 2010. These efforts define our mission of readiness with God’s love where ever and when ever needed. You can help us.
Our worship service ends with a call to go into the world to love and serve the Lord. Each church figures out how to do that in its own way. Most churches get involved in helping those in need in their own communities through soup kitchens, food pantries, and other assistance. We have a partner Diocese in Haiti and we visit each other often and assist when we can.
We are called by Christ to help those in need, wherever those in need might be. This ranges from our local community or town to distant congregations or individuals scattered all over the world. Particularly in times of world crisis, the church-sponsored Episcopal Relief and Development is there, on the spot, to offer prayer, support, and assistance.
The Episcopal Church is different from some others in our acceptance of the fact that every person has a unique talent, gift, chosen ministry, or value to offer. There is no one thing we expect everyone to do. Out of this diversity springs our collective response to our communities, our state and our world. Some parishes focus on very local community service; others make their mission world-wide issues facing humankind. We magnify the Kingdom of God as a Diocese through the many divergent responses we have to the challenges of the day.
In Houlton, we collect for the local food pantry weekly, and it is not only food. We realize that people need shampoo and toilet paper, which can not be gotten on food stamps. The Sunday School also picks a cause, such as world hunger, which they collect their change for and donate. It helps the children learn the importance of giving.
We try to be his hands and feet by helping others,working in food banks, visiting the nursing homes, being
good neighbors, donating money to Haiti, Katrina disaster and other things if we are able. Our call originates from God who nudges us often! It is not what we say to people but our actions that count in being a Christian.
I think our call originates when we make that commitment to our Lord. We start out by prayerfully looking for something to do to serve him, help at the food pantry, community lunch, etc. where there is a need and speak to those around you of your personal love of Christ, invite them to church. People can tell if you are sincere.
We serve as the hands and feet of Jesus everyday in our homes, our work and our place in the world here in Maine. We serve our communities as volunteers in our schools, our hospitals, our town governments and that in turn affects this state. “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love….” That call to serve originates within each one of us, sometimes prompted by the influence of God and his saints. Our work in the world as representatives of God and our church is what defines us in the world.