Grace and Peace,
On Sunday, September 9th, our congregation will join with many other congregations around the country who have and will participate in “God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday.” Since 2013 the ELCA has desig- nated one Sunday in September to be set aside for a day of service in the communi- ty. While churches participate in service in a number of ways throughout the year, God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday is a time when we can all together recognize that service to our neighbor is a central part of who we are, and be a part of that work with one another.
Throughout the Gospels Jesus calls us to love and serve our neighbors. In the 7th chapter of Matthew, in the midst of a series of sayings of guidance, Jesus calls us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. In the 22nd chapter of Matthew, included in other gospels as well, Jesus teaches that all of the com- mandments are summed up in the com- mand to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind...[and] love your neighbor as yourself.” When asked who is our neigh- bor, Jesus responds with the story of the Good Samaritan, which essentially teach- es us that everyone is our neighbor, no matter how much we do or do not have in common. Serving our neighbors and showing appreciation for them is a central part of who we are as Christians, and one of the primary ways we live out Christ’s call to “love our neighbors as ourselves.”
We are looking forward to celebrat- ing this day for our congregation’s first year of God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday. It will be a busy day as we gather together for breakfast where we will hear about our Sunday School program for the coming year, take part in an abbreviated worship service, and then join in acts of service for the community. Our Evangelism/Outreach Committee has been hard at work planning events for the day, including supporting SOCKS Crisis Ministry, House of Mercy, making Baby Kits for Lutheran World Re- lief, and baking cookies and treats for first responders and others as an act of thanks for all they do for the community. Our hope is to have varied activities so that everyone has a way to be involved. Through these small gestures we are joining together with congregations throughout the ELCA as we work to live out our call to love our neigh- bor as Christ first loved us.
Yours in Christ,