A Moment for Mission
"Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven. … For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." —Luke 12:33b-34, NRSV
My mission journey started with simple service projects as a camper at Camp Wanake in the East Ohio Annual Conference. My group swept out the barn, visited folks at the nearby nursing home and pulled weeds in the camp garden. These simple things led to a basic idea that we need each other. As a youth, I traveled to Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Kentucky, to work in collaboration with a team from Andalusia, Alabama. It was a great week of hard work, physically and spiritually.
The mission seed was planted, and I connected with the local food bank, moving leftovers from restaurants to food pantries; led youth work missions; and served at domestic projects and in Mexico, Honduras, Zimbabwe and the Dominican Republic. All of these experiences reinforced my understanding of being part of God's mission on earth.
It's the mission journey. We are called into this becoming at baptism. We confirm the call at confirmation. This is who we are and how we live. This journey is one that encounters Christ in others. We travel around the corner and throughout the world to meet people where they are as we allow ourselves to be immersed in the community for the short time we are present.
On Volunteers in Mission Awareness Sunday, annual conferences celebrate the people who roll up their shirtsleeves, flex their muscles and share the love of Jesus Christ at home and in distant places. Thank you!
—The Rev. Tammy Kuntz, Volunteers in Mission coordinator, North Central Jurisdiction
Loving God, we know that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. Motivate, energize and inspire us to serve your children at home and far away. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Ninth Sunday after Pentecost — God of love and mercy, as we lift these gifts to you, too many of us are thinking, "We are done for another week." Scripture reminds us that what you seek is so much more: "Do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow." You seek our offering in our actions, making your love and compassion real. Help us to bring to you the fullness of the gifts that demand we live differently, that your kingdom might be here in our midst. We pray in Jesus' blessed name. Amen. (Isaiah 1:1, 10-20)
Escaping a Midwestern winter was a perk for a Volunteers in Mission team of 16 from Indian Run United Methodist Church, West Ohio Annual Conference, who traveled to sunny Pelerin, Haiti, in January 2019. This year's trip, the fifth in five years, focused on continued construction of a church and Bible school for more than 100 children.
"We are very close to completion now and are awaiting a cost estimate of materials and labor to finish the work," said volunteer Greg Leining. As the Dublin, Ohio, congregation learns more about the mission, the number of people expressing interest in actively participating increases.
"We worshipped with the local congregation on Sunday, which is always a wonderful experience," Leining said. "In fact, it really feels like a family reunion. So many great memories were made, while being God's hands and feet."
Whenever your congregation celebrates Volunteers in Mission Awareness Sunday, take time to remember—and thank—the tireless people who travel the world changing lives.