The following is the text from my bulletin insert. I am designing a series of weekly inserts to help me better explain the Wesleyan Way of Discipleship. You can download a pdf of this insert at the end of blog.
This week, you are encouraged to ask a church member the following:
Do you remember a time when you were hungry and someone surprised you with a meal? How did you feel?
This week, I begin looking at what are traditionally called Corporal Acts of Mercy found primarily in Matthew 25:31-46.
The many of the following suggestions were found at www.usccb.org. It’s a catholic site, but gets right to the point that I hope to make with this article.
In the scripture mentioned above we are told that we are to feed the hungry. As you know, if you have been following the ministry emphases of Trinity UMC, feeding the hungry is something that we have been focused upon now for several years. There is little doubt that there are people facing hunger on a daily basis in our community. Wesley would say that it is our responsibility to try and alleviate that hunger. Perhaps we could start by practicing some of the following suggestions:
· Practice stewardship of our own food resources. Try to cut down on food waste. If you find yourself throwing away food each week, then buy less food and donate what you would have spent to a group that feeds people.
· At Thanksgiving or Christmas, are you planning a great meal for your family? Then also plan to contribute to a food drive that will provide a meal for another family in our community. Better yet, invite someone to your meal that might be eating alone and let them share with your family.
· Look for organizations in our community that are helping to alleviate hunger: Big Stone Gap Food Bank, local churches, other community agencies. Support these efforts with food, money to buy food, or your time to hand out or serve food.
· When you make a recipe that can easily be frozen, make a double batch and donate a meal to someone that might be hungry. Also, if you fix too much, then make a plate and take it to a neighbor.
· Consider buying non perishable snack items and donating them to Powell Valley Primary School Weekend Back Pack Program. At the middle school, the principal also oversees an account that he uses to buy extra food at lunch for kids that need it. Consider giving money to that fund. Currently, we have a matching grant available so that what your gift could be doubled if you give through the church.
Most importantly, pray that God would guide you to people that are hungry and help alleviate that need. Don’t wait for the church or someone else to step in. Do it yourself.
I am just a simple United Methodist pastor. I am an elder in the Holston Annual Conference. This blog is my attempt to share the insights that I have gathered from John Wesley's writings and from others more knowledgable than myself in regards to Wesley. I am not a scholar. Perhaps you could best think of me as a practical theologian.