Friday, November 26, 2010

Establishing Poverty on the Church Agenda

Sunday marks the beginning of Advent, the start of the church year -- and we have a New Year's resolution of sorts. At this year's diocesan convention in Terre Haute in October, representatives of All Saints and the other churches in the diocese voted to thoughtfully and deliberately consider how our actions together as a church impact those most in need.

The resolution, titled "Establishing Poverty on the Church Agenda", calls us to connect all of the things we as a church do to the experiences of those living in poverty, asking that "all matter what their purpose...include intentional reflection time to connect the purpose of the meeting with the experiences and needs of people who are living in or near poverty". This discipline will begin Sunday, and last through March 24, the feast day of Oscar Romero and the Martyrs of El Salvador.

There's a temptation to think of this kind of thing as a nuisance agenda item, but ministry to the poor is a core part of what we do when we "go in peace to love and serve the Lord". I'm hopeful that we will approach this call as an opportunity to reflect creatively on our vision to build on our church's wonderful history as a beacon for social concerns.

Besides keeping poverty on the agenda of the church, there are concrete ways you can help on the horizon...coming up on December 21 is the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention's annual memorial service for homeless persons who have died over the past year. The All Saints outreach committee has agreed to help provide desserts for the event. Watch this space for details on how you can get involved.

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