Moment for Mission
"And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness." – Genesis 1:4, NRSV
Light brings life; it allows plants to grow, provides warmth for survival, and improves emotional well-being. When God created light, God also declared this light to be good.
Light is scarce for many during these winter months. Perhaps this is why light is used to decorate during the holiday season. The scarcity of light makes a sunny winter day a welcome relief.
An MIT study determined that, if there was a clear line of sight, the human eye can see a burning candle from 1.6 miles away. Light that shines in darkness makes an impact that is far reaching.
As we prepare for Human Relations Day next Sunday, we are preparing to shine the light of Christ into some of the darkest places in our neighborhoods and communities. This light will be more than just the flame from a single candle, as Human Relations Day is one of the six Special Sundays when United Methodists across the denomination collectively turn our attention to giving that supports specific ministries.
Human Relations Day is the day that United Methodists lift up and support neighborhood ministries. Gifts received on this day make possible ministries of community development and community advocacy, as well as ministries that support at-risk youth through the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program.
Giving on Human Relations Day is giving that brings light while also investing in lives and communities.
Giver of Light, open our hearts that we may give generously that your light might shine brightly into the dark places of poverty and violence. Let us shine the light you freely give with the neighborhoods and communities that surround us. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Epiphany Sunday and Baptism of the Lord - Everlasting God, you love all people, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. You have demonstrated your great compassion in Scripture and history. Thank you for calling us to actively show compassion and uphold justice as members of the church of Jesus Christ. We are grateful for opportunities to extend your love through the ministries of our congregation. Use our gifts and offerings to help our neighbors who are in need of tangible goods and your Spirit's peace. We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen. (Psalm 72)
Human Relations Day is one of our six Special Sundays. These are Sundays when The United Methodist Church takes up a united offering benefiting specific ministries. This year, Human Relations Day will be observed on Jan. 14.
Gifts received from the Human Relations Day offering are used to shine light into our neighborhoods and communities by supporting ministries that are doing the work of community advocacy, community development and reaching at-risk youth.
Over 900,000 youth were arrested in the United States in 2015. While the rate of juvenile arrests has been steadily trending down over the past 20 years, this is still a large number. Add to it the families, schools and communities affected when young people are at risk to become involved in committing crimes and we can begin to take into account the whole picture.
At-risk youth are in need of strong families and communities to lead them toward better paths. Our gifts on Human Relations Day support ministries that work to strengthen our communities.