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“For there will never cease to be poor in the land.
Therefore I command you,
‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother,
to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’”
Aligned with Scripture and in conjunction with the purpose of the Presbyterian Women, we are building a year-long theme for Providence Presbyterian Church that will extend beyond our PW events and the doors of our Sanctuary.
Our theme is “Being Church in Our Community.”
The Bible teaches us that the church is the “body of Christ.” Jesus cares for people who suffer in poverty and calls us to share with those who are destitute. He once said to a wealthy young man, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Another time, he said to a well-to-do host, “when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.” When crowds asked him, “What then should we do?”, he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”
The theme comes to life as we walk as Christ’s body in our community to examine how we as Christians are called to live out our faith. How do we come together as one with Christ to share with people who need what we can give and to offer justice and peace in our community? How do we as individual Christians develop the courage to see, confront and overcome unfairness in a system we have co-created with our neighbors?
Scripture tells us:
“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Why are the odds of moving out of poverty so low for children born in our county? What can we Christians do as part of a plan of action to change this long-standing situation in our own backyard?
Proverbs 21:13 reminds us:
“Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.”
We will take the opportunity over the next ten months to explore race and social class relations and our faith in juxtaposition to our role in these social challenges. We will have open and candid discussions, we will hear from community leaders, we will explore scripture, and we will do this together to enhance our faith and expand our roles as Christians in our community.
Christ calls us:
‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
Join us at one event, a few events or every event, but join us. The body of Christ works best when we work together. This will be a special time for awareness and spiritual growth. We believe the time is now for PPC to enhance our work in supporting those who have not shared the privileges we enjoy and take a deeper look at the root causes of poverty in our community. Approaching this with our Christian values and insights will provide the right setting and potential for understanding.
God is clear about his expectations:
“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”
Bottom of Form
“…..those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from God is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters.”
1 John 4:20-21