Lessons Learned in Lent
Our Outreach Steering Committee supported the series in many ways and had the occasion to reflect recently on what we heard as common themes and reflections from our community.
First, and perhaps most obvious, our church community is deeply committed to outreach work - work that can be defined as reaching across differences to support and love our neighbors in need. Many in our community feel called by God to respond to the world's great needs with personal acts of loving witness. We were reminded that our church, in its particular geographical, social, and economic location, has a vocation to “minister in the gaps” or “at the “end of the road” where other, often larger, agencies and non-profits fail to act.
Additionally, we recognized through our reflection together that St. John's provides a common identity to our parish family that helps to shape us for compassionate action in the world. Our church equips us and inspires us to be even more connected to each other and our neighbors in powerful ways. Through our partnerships with non-profits and other religious communities, St. John’s is able to magnify its impact to be even more powerful than we could be alone. Our partnership with Upholding Humanity is just one example of that impact. To date, Upholding Humanity has welcomed over a dozen refugee families to the United States - refugees from Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Central and South America - all making new lives in this community that we love so well.
We learned that although money may be our most measurable commitment, our work together goes beyond financial support. It includes prayer, common witness, and powerful acts of transformative kindness that shape the character and spirit of our larger community.
Finally, our local national, and international partnerships make the many crises in our world personal to us. Our strong partnerships help us to see with greater clarity and inspire us to be people of hope.
The Outreach Steering Committee offers its deep thanks to all who came out for our series. Your participation was inspiring and moved us powerfully.