This morning, I woke up with what seemed like a lethargy throughout my entire body, just wondering how long this pandemic is going to last? When will we get back to “normal” or at least life somewhat what it was like before the COVID19 became a household word? Watching the news each evening, I have the feeling that we are “in this” for a while yet.
So what can we do? Being this is the post-Thanksgiving week, thoughts of all of those blessings that I gave thanks for this past weekend were still echoing in my mind. However, being thankful for what “I” have is not enough. With it comes the realization that there are lots of people who do not have many of the things in life for which I gave thanks. I am drawn to the second part of the word, Thanksgiving. That is “giving”. I wonder if one of the answers to my lethargy, my being ill-at-ease with the pandemic is to think about new ways in which I can give.
One program of the United Church, which many of you are familiar with, is the Mission and Service Fund. Did you know Kamloops United Church has budgeted $30,000 to this in 2020? This is a tremendous show of our giving out of a sense of thankfulness to help others!
In days gone by, this fund supported our church missionaries in their work in “mission fields” all around the world. Today the M and S fund is radically different. Today, only 18% of M and S goes overseas, primarily helping with peace and justice work. 19% helps ministry to people living on the margins in Canada, 6% for education programs to train ministers and laity, 18% for children and youth programs, 22% to assist local congregations as they transition, minister in remote communities or experiment with new ministries. Finally 17% supports the national indigenous church though The Healing Fund, the Justice and Reconciliation Fund and for advocacy work in Canada.
As a congregation, when I look at all of the programs that KUC undertakes to help others, it is amazing…Mission and Service is just one part of our outreach to the wider community. I am so thankful that as we live through this time of pandemic, we are able to give, not just as individuals, but as a faith community.
Blessings and peace,