Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

On this page, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. You can also find them on the church's YouTube Channel in the "Weekly Word" playlist. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom

06/05/2017 3:38 PM

Helping that Actually Helps

06/05/2017 3:38 PM
06/05/2017 3:38 PM

I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. (Matthew 25:35)

On Sunday, you may have noticed a family in our parking lot asking for help. This is not the first time. At Easter, we had another family in a similar situation. We shouldn’t be surprised. After all, if I needed help, the church would be first on my list of places to go. If they approached you, maybe you weren’t sure what to do. Maybe you had just attended the class on hospitality taught by Liz Rasley, and you were feeling somewhat conflicted. How do I help? What really does help? How might I extend the hand of hospitality here?
Some have asked me what a good response is in cases like this, so here are some basic dos and don’ts for you to consider:
  1. Do be nice. I know this seems obvious, but quite often we are approached when we are in a hurry, and we get frazzled. Remember, the person in front of you has real need, even if they are trying to scam you. So, be nice.
  2. Do refer them to a pastor. Working with people in various stages of life is what we do and may be the best way to help someone begin to look at more long-term solutions.
  3. Do pray for them. Pray with them if you feel comfortable doing so. It helps the person know you care and invites God directly into the moment.
  4. Don’t do anything you are not comfortable doing. Being a Christian certainly means being generous, but that doesn’t necessarily mean risking safety.
  5. Don’t give cash. It’s not a terrible thing to give cash, but you could easily be supporting behavior that is part of the problem. Giving food or addressing need directly is better.

This list could be much longer, but I thought I would at least give you a place to start. I can also let you know that I met with both of the families and was able to address some of their needs.  Thank you for being such a warm-hearted and generous congregation who cares deeply for the welfare of others.

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