What could it mean to love mercy?
We could grow more aware of the sufferings of others –
We could find greater compassion growing in our hearts –
We could look for ways to help without hurting or shaming –
Our neighbors are hungry. How do we help? Support for ELCA World Hunger and Monroe County United Ministries are budgeted items for us, a commitment by the Council on behalf of the whole congregation. Members bring food for the MCUM food pantry and the New Hope for Families shelter every Sunday. The annual Church World Service Crop Walk has broad support in the congregation – we’ve had a walking team every year since 1990. We have an annual collection for Bread for the World, and individual members support many more relief agencies.
Our neighbors are homeless. How do we help? Support for local shelters is a budgetary commitment and individual members serve as volunteers in Bloomington’s Interfaith Winter Shelter. We have a member on the board of Middle Way House, and a liaison with New Hope Shelters.
Our neighbors are in need. How do we help? In many ways, great and small. Our Sunday School children work each year on a child-size mission project; recent projects have been malaria nets and a preschool in Chile. A group of St. Thomas members works with the local chapter of St. Vincent de Paul – also a budgetary commitment – to help sustain households in need. And members are involved in a multitude of community efforts.
Could we do more? Of course we could. If your heart is calling you to the work of mercy, make it known! The Mission Committee meets monthly to sustain and develop this congregation’s work in the world and can help you find allies and structures at St. Thomas to support your vision.
The Creation Windows: God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” (Genesis 1: 29-30)