A Year of Being Kind blog – Friday, May 16, 2014
Helping Those in Need, Close to Home (Feature Friday!)
Most people need a helping hand, every now and then. Some people need a helping hand more often—whether it’s because of poor health, or loss of a job, or sudden accident. It doesn’t matter why sometimes. Things happen. Just because. Or maybe it’s because of poor decisions. Or because of some one else’s mistakes. Like I said, things happen.
I’ve mentioned here about my new position, before. I am very happy to be serving this community of believers, and there are many things I have picked right up. (I’ve done some of them before, in other positions in the past.) And, several of these job skills are newer to me. I’ll need some practice, therefore, and the community is very encouraging to me.
One fascinating aspect about serving at a new church is that I am finding out about new outreaches and new missionaries. Each church and each group of believers has their own style of serving and outreach. This group here in this corner of the Chicago suburbs supports several missionaries, the local food pantry, and provides assistance for other, local people in need. The Good Shepherd Fund is a great outreach to those people who are temporarily down on their luck or otherwise in sudden need.
“It started with people coming to the door and asking for help,” said Lill, the Church Council president. “People started to come when the church was built. And people have been coming ever since. Sometimes a man, other times a woman, sometimes a couple. You never know when. And the Good Shepherd Fund is to be used at the pastor’s discretion.”
This community of believers is caring and giving. However, I know there are a whole lot of different ideas and ways of reaching out to people—each separate church, agency, or other place of worship has certain ways of doing things. So, I remembered an idea that had worked at another place. I brought it to several members on the Church Council recently. The idea met with a great deal of enthusiasm! With the Council’s blessing, I went to the local Subway sandwich shop and purchased some gift cards to distribute to those who might need a decent meal.
When I think of the Good Shepherd in John Chapter 10, I can’t help but be reminded of the One who provides for the sheep. Whether the sheep in the sheep pen, safely together with the others, or the lost sheep wandering far from familiar surroundings, the Shepherd goes after the sheep and provides for them. As the Good Shepherd’s representative, I pray that I might have the wisdom and understanding of how best to use this fund.
Now our community of believers has another way to reach out, another way to be of service. The Good Shepherd Fund can continue to be an opportunity to provide a helping hand.
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