You see, then, that it is by our actions that we are put right with God, and not by our faith alone.
A friend of mine who teaches at Yale Divinity School said, “Joy is a work of resistance against despair. This work involves more than feeling an emotion.” Within San Gabriel Presbytery I see lots of places and ways we are involved in this type of work. I want to highlight just a few joyful opportunities that are coming up.
If you are concerned about or feel despair about the health and well-being of people near and far, we have a few connections for you to plug into coming right up.
Our Living Waters for the World team is bringing clean water to various communities in Peru, which equates to better health and less worry for families. This is an extremely joy-filled ministry of our presbytery and you are welcome to join the team! To learn more about the current reality and work in Peru we are blessed to have coming to our presbytery mission co-workers Sara Armstrong and Rusty Edmondson from Nov. 9-13. They will share with us at the Presbytery Meeting on Nov. 10, but they will also be speaking at a number of churches within the presbytery. For more information or to schedule time with Sara and Rusty contact Rev. Cyndie Crowell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connecting with organizations working to better the health and well-being of people nearer to home is something many of our churches are doing pretty well. We have the opportunity to support one such organization at the Nov. Presbytery Meeting. Inland Valley Hope Partners (IVHP) will be the recipient of the special offering collected at that meeting. IVHP is addressing homelessness and hunger issues by offering food security programs, housing programs, and healthy living programs to those in need in conjunction with local faith communities, businesses, individuals, and groups. Joyfully I am able to report that we have a few churches directly involved with the work of IVHP. More church partners are always welcome.
If you are concerned about or feel despair about the treatment and/or situation of immigrants, here are some ways that might help you work your way out of that place.
At the November Presbytery Meeting everyone will have the opportunity to write a message of support to unaccompanied minors seeking asylum. We will have postcards available on a table so you can express to kids who are waiting for their day in court that they are in your thoughts and prayers. The cards will be distributed at various locations around Los Angeles through organizations working with unaccompanied minors.
On Nov. 17 Puente de Esperanza Presbyterian Church is holding an immigration workshop. In conjunction with Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) and other organizations they will offer free consultations with immigration lawyers and a Know Your Rights informational session. CLUE is always looking for churches who can host immigration workshops for immigrants in our neighborhoods. Might your church be willing to provide this service in the future to our immigrant brothers and sisters? If so, let me know at email@example.com.
If you are concerned about or feel despair about the lack of peace in our world, there’s a conference coming up in a few months that you should attend.
“Peace-ing It Together” will be held on Feb. 23, 2019 at Knox Presbyterian Church in Pasadena. This one-day conference will explore various topics of violence and peace and offer specific ideas for peacemaking activities for churches and communities. Featured speakers will include Sara Lisherness and Rev. Denise Anderson from the Presbyterian Mission Agency and Rev. Emily Brewer from Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. For more information contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a number of situations that I despair over in the world today, but taking steps to counter those things which bring me down helps not only me, but the situation itself. I pray that we all find work that brings us joy and also makes this world more like the kingdom of God on Earth.