Focus on Mission- April 2014
You will find in your Journey 10X10 binders a page with the heading “Engage in 10 Mission / Outreach Activities”. This is followed by scripture from Acts 1:8, which actually contains a misprint (did you catch it?). The names Judea and Jerusalem are switched. This quote should read: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
The order in which these places are listed is somewhat important because it points to an outward ripple effect. The followers of Jesus were to begin sharing the Good News right there where they were, in Jerusalem. Then they were to venture a little further into Judea. The next step would be more challenging. Not only was Samaria a little further away, but there would be some pretty major religious and cultural barriers to overcome. Finally, the greatest challenge of all – to be witnesses for Jesus to the ‘ends of the Earth’.
Even though Mission and Outreach are the focus for April, I would remind you that we are to be practicing all ten of the chosen spiritual disciplines over the entire ten months of our Journey. The task of engaging in ten mission / outreach activities may still seem a little daunting until we consider the vast and varied opportunities to share God’s love with others.
There are many ways to participate within our own church and community including: Crop Walk, food pantries, Relay for Life, Christmas Commandos, supporting or serving Chaddock and Sunset Home, and working with our own youth and senior citizens.
You can reach out a little further with activities such as helping with clean-up efforts in Washington IL. We also saw, a couple of Sundays ago, a video on the ministry and work opportunities of “Love Packages” in Butler IL. I have submitted requests for more information from both of these locations and will share more information as soon as I receive it. You could soon have the chance to participate in Emergency Response Training sponsored by the LaMoine River District of the United Methodist Church. They are currently checking the level of interest, and if you are interested, you should send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 217-245-9946.
You may find God is calling you to stretch yourself by getting involved with missions in other parts of the United States or in other countries. You have abundant opportunity to give financially, including One Great Hour of Sharing and Golden Cross Sunday. If you are seeking a hands-on experience, check out the many ongoing Volunteer In Mission projects through the Illinois Great Rivers Conference at igrc.org.
I have only scratched the surface; and you thought it would be difficult to find ten mission / outreach activities. May God continue to give you strength for your Journey.