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Mission & Advocacy Kicks Off 2020

January 15, 2020
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Welcome to 2020! Our first blog of the new decade comes from Rev. Holly Bandel – Mission & Advocacy is moving full steam ahead. Consider how you can embody Christ through this type of ministry work this year.

As we have entered 2020, our Mission and Advocacy ministry continues to live out who we are as a table of welcome and inclusivity for all. We started the year hearing from District Attorney John Creuzot, attending a movie screening of “Just Mercy” with St. Paul UMC and the Women’s Lunch hosted by United Methodist Women. We continue to connect with Austin Street Center and AIDS Services through serving meals and we look forward to be a part of the Holy Spirit’s work with people in our community and around the globe all year long.

And we have exciting work coming. There’s an entire slate of events to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this weekend, and we have a group of women eager to represent FirstChurch at this Sunday’s Dallas Women’s March (all who are interested can still join!). At the end of this month, our UMW will join St. Paul to host Room in The Inn here in Urban Life, for which volunteers are still needed as well.

In this new year, I am reminded of why we do all of this. We are people who follow the one born in Bethlehem. Jesus grew up and spent the majority of his time healing the sick, praying and feeding people, teaching and welcoming the stranger. In Zechariah, Jesus compels us to “render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another” (Zechariah 7:9-10). Each time we extend a helping hand or show kindness to our neighbors, we become the light of Jesus Christ in the world.

I must admit that the needs of our city and world can seem overwhelming, as can the amount we “do” as a church. At the same time, it is when we use all the gifts of the body of Christ at FirstChurch, we are able to receive grace, give it and embody the Kingdom as a community. How you serve and what you give makes a difference every day in our community as together we feed the hungry, house the  homeless, welcome children, break cycles of poverty and advocate for the voiceless. Thank you for answering this call once again in 2020!

It is an honor and pleasure to serve with you and I would invite you to make a commitment this year to serve in one of our Mission and Advocacy ministries at least once a quarter, four times, just four hours this year! When we do this, we make an impact that embodies who God is and who God is calling us to become.

Given the uncertainty in our world right now, it is easy for the ambiguity we experience to evolve into fear. In order to stay grounded, present and hopeful, I remember how Maya Angelou articulated her vision of the Kingdom of God: “We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate—thereby, make the present comfortable and future promising.”

Come and join our efforts and see how, as we unify our efforts and embrace our neighbors, we make our future more promising.

May we do this together!

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