God's Work, Our Hands
Church isn't just what happens inside the sanctuary, it's who we are. We gather as the people of God to celebrate God's goodness and share God's blessing - not just with our words...but in our action and experiences. We embody the Good News to each other, to our neighbors, to this city. To someone who's hungry, Good News can look like a heaping plate of chicken and orzo salad, a full bowl of ham hocks and greens. That's one of the many reasons our worship happens around the table and over a good meal. Over and over, Jesus shows us that our abundance is to be shared with those in need. Throughout history, the people of God are marked as those who invite strangers into their homes, who clothe those who are down to their last pair of clean underwear, who acknowledge the humanity of those imprisoned and align themselves with the struggle of the oppressed. That's what "God's Work, Our Hands" Sunday is about - a day of service across our denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. From Texas to Minnesota, we invest our time and energy in something other than ourselves. We make a visible declaration to the community that Christians aren't only concerned with piety, but with justice and the people who are most vulnerable among us.
As KINDRED, and alongside Lutheran Campus Ministries of Houston, we went out into the streets of our Montrose neighborhood to gather necessities for our partner, Montrose Grace Place (MGP). The community rallied to provide clothes, toiletries, diapers and games for the homeless youth that MGP serves each week. We also labeled 1500 bars of hotel soap with Human Trafficking Hotline stickers. Houston is the #1 hub for human trafficking in this country and events like the super bowl are exponentially exploited as a venue for trafficking. In coming weeks, Lutheran Campus Ministry will deliver these soap packages to several hotels around town and educate hotel staff on how their vigilance and the access to this vital hotline can help release people from modern-day slavery.
We began with prayers, holy communion, and a simple meal - food for body and soul , preparation for the work ahead. We mobilized in service to others. We continue to learn about the larger context for these community needs. To learn more about the mission of Montrose Grace place and youth homelessness, visit here:
To learn more about human trafficking (especially in Houston), here are some trusted resources and info:
If you don't already know about A 2nd Cup, let me introduce you to one of my favorite coffee shops. In the heart of The Heights, it's part coffee shop, part non profit for justice. The proceeds from that delicious Squirrel Latte go to organizations that address prevention, liberation, and healing from human trafficking. I intentionally spend office hours there and take meetings there to support their work. I also learn a thing or two when I'm there, including awareness about upcoming events for continued learning or special art sale fundraisers, etc. We're seeing more creative collaborations between business and social change and I needed a good source of caffeine anyway.