With the beginning of a New Year we are naturally drawn to the feeling that we are being given a fresh start or have the opportunity to start something new. Many people traditionally make resolutions to reflect ways they would like to live their lives differently in the New Year. I invite you to personally explore your own life habits through the lens of faith.
What changes would you like to make in this coming year? How is your faith reflected in your life? Perhaps there are some small changes you need to make or perhaps there are some big challenges you wish to tackle. Regardless, if we do not seek to grow we are resigning ourselves to deterioration.
During this season of Epiphany, the season of Christ’s light coming into the world, we are lifting up as a congregation the call by God to live lives of Service and Justice. We are each called to do acts of service for others and live lives of justice specifically so that we might “BE” the light of Christ in the world. We have a social responsibility as a member of the body of Christ to serve as Christ served, to love as Christ loved, and to forgive as Christ forgave. Can you say you are doing all that you could in this area?
Some might question what a life of service and justice might look like. That is your personal challenge to discover and to explore with other people of God, at Gethsemane and elsewhere. What is God calling you to do and who is God calling you to take a stand for? To have a Living Faith is to engage those difficult situations in life with the one thing built specifically to cure them, Christ. I invite you; no, I challenge you; make a resolution, make a move, and live out your faith in a new way that might share Christ’s light with the world. Go in Peace; live lives of service and justice.
Possible steps for you to live out your faith through Acts of Service and Justice
Consider trying a few of these ideas in the coming year.
- Determine to do one service opportunity each month either as a family, household, or individual.
- Go to Access Gethsemane to discover the different service opportunities within our congregation and its various ministries.
- Attend a Hospitality Plus educational event and find ways you can make Gethsemane a welcoming place for all people.
- Participate in supporting our “Need of the Month;” check the newsletter or church bulletin for opportunities.
- Educate yourself on a social issue and let your feelings be made known to your state representatives, either by letter or phone call.
- Celebrate a birthday or holiday by serving others. This is great way for adults to celebrate with their friends and share something you are passionate about with others.
- Take a Service Vacation this year instead of going to the beach or on a golf trip.
- Work to consciously treat others that you come into contact with as children of God, and not just as coworkers or strangers. Make eye contact and greet them in peace.
- Talk with your children or grandchildren about what Justice is and how we are called to treat one another the same regardless of our differences.
- Humble yourself and allow others to serve you if the occasion arises. This is a gift in itself.
- Attend one of our Adult Forum offerings that are highlighting the needs in our community.
- Attend the New Horizons Mission Breakfast fundraiser for world missions.
- Attend the “Vital Congregations-Just Communities” training in February with fellow GLC members.
- Join the CORE team facilitated by Pastor Laurie to explore how people of faith can participate in creating healthy, just communities.
- Talk with your Council members about justice issues that concern you.
- When you make a donation to a food shelf, ask yourself why there are so many who are hungry.
"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 4:10-11)