Why does Social Ministry matter?
Monday, May 23rd is Outback Give Back Day at the Conshohocken Outback Steak House. Contact the church office to get your coupon so that you can get great food and a 15% donation of the proceeds given to St. Peter’s Social Ministry. We need a head count so that Outback can staff up for the Give Back. Please RSVP to Roxanne in the office at firstname.lastname@example.org by this Friday, May 20. Let her know the number of folks in you party. The offer is good for lunch, dinner and takeout!
Are we advertising for Outback Steakhouse? We are a church, what gives?!
Nope, we are not advertising for Outback Steakhouse at all, or at least that is not our primary focus. While a Blooming Onion, a Steak and Potato, or anything else on their menu might be just what you are craving this isn’t about getting business for Outback Steakhouse, this is about helping people.
Outback Steakhouse in Conshohocken has generously offered to support the work of St. Peter’s by giving 15% of all receipts from parties who bring in our church coupon. That is, quite frankly, AWESOME because every person from the St. Peter’s community that gets a meal at Outback will be able to help us and our partners in ministry provide meals for others. We can help people in need just by getting lunch, dinner, takeout, or a snack!
But the question remains…why? Why do we at St. Peter’s do this and why should you want to grab a meal to help support these ministries? Just because it’s your “obligation” as a church person? Just because you’ve got nothing better to do? Nope. Sure, Jesus fed 5,000 people off of a couple of loaves and fishes but that’s Jesus and you’re not him so what does a simple meal at Outback matter? What can we do?
As the people of God we can do all things and you can be a part of it, that’s why.
Ellen Daneke, our Social Ministry leader, put together a brilliant explanation of Social Ministry which can be found here. In her writing she notes that “everything that Social Ministry does is centered on the Christ’s command to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ Because of the love we have for God in the first commandment. We are people of faith called to share our faith through word and action. Social Ministry is the action!”
We’ve got lots of people who get in “the action” for our Social Ministry programs. One person is Jeanette who can often be found in the church kitchen or moving various donated items to support our efforts around the church. Why does Jeanette do it? “I’ve got the time now that I am retired and I get to work with friends and accomplish something.” When asked why that matters she responded, “it’s something I can actually do” and, “I know people need things, I can help, I enjoy it.” Jeanette has the time to help but also enjoys working with her kitchen sisters Marge, Sue, and Karen, and brothers in faith while also serving the larger community and making a difference. She noted, “I helped out with the little league snack stand and the Scouts when I was younger with the kids, this is just continuing that.”
One of the largest problems is that we often think there is no way to help with so many problems in the world or, at the very least, that we cannot be a part of helping. Our schedules are all so busy and the problems seem so endless! If you work 40, 50, 60 or more hours a week, have a long commute to your job, are a parent or grandparent, or just about anything else in life, finding the time can be almost impossible. So what do we do?
We support people like Jeanette and so many others in any way that we can! Maybe that means coming to the church and helping out to prepare and cook if you’ve got the time, but as Jeanette noted, “lot’s of people don’t have the time because life is so busy” – so maybe you can give an hour or two on weekends to help gather or deliver meals and supplies. Maybe it means swinging past Outback for a meal to help fund the efforts. Maybe it means holding Ellen, Jeanette, our serving community, all those in need, and countless others in prayer for a few minutes a day. We can do anything as the people of God to support the love and service of our neighbors.
Social Ministry matters in the work to love and serve our neighbors. Social Ministry matters in our call to hear the voice of God and love all people. Social Ministry matters because it bonds us together, as friends and as the community of Christ at St. Peter’s, and also it bonds us together with all those that we serve and care for throughout the world. Beyond that Social Ministry is fun too. Walking into the church kitchen and seeing Jeanette and her friends preparing meals, talking and laughing, simply being together knowing that they are enjoying their time and loving and serving their neighbors is a beautiful sight. Seeing their joy as part of the St. Peter’s community, while also caring for all their neighbors is truly the Holy Spirit at work in the world. Watching them struggle with a malfunctioning can opener while laughing all so that they can help people they have never met is the true embodiment of the people of God.
If you can help out with Social Ministry in any way please do, it matters. The time or funds that you can offer could mean the world to one of your neighbors in need. You don’t have to come to the church and cook on a regular basis but if you have time that’s great! You don’t have to help make deliveries or pick-ups of meals and supplies but if you have time that’s great! You don’t have to go to Outback and grab a meal but if you have time and a craving that’s great! You don’t have to do anything but your support in our efforts to love and serve all of God’s people in any way that you might be able could mean all the difference in the world to your neighbors both at St. Peter’s and in our larger community.