A Moment for Mission
"I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." —Acts 2:17b, NRSV
"Justice," said Kristin Kumpf, "is not about giving a person a fish or teaching a person to fish. It's about giving a person access to the pond." Formerly with the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Kumpf now works with the American Friends Service Committee.
Giving immigrants access to free or low-cost legal services, no matter what language they speak, is a goal of Justice for Our Neighbors, a network of 18 sites across the United States. Each site serves low-income immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. JFON attorneys meet with clients at legal clinics in churches and community centers, through referrals and scheduled appointments.
Recently the New York Justice for Our Neighbors received a Peace with Justice grant to improve services to clients whose first language is Spanish. These clients are doubly penalized as victims of systemic poverty who have difficulty accessing legal services due to language. With the grant, made possible by generous giving to the annual Peace with Justice Sunday offering, NYJFON will hire a part-time employee to return calls made to a centralized phone line and set up appointments for their legal clinics.
"This needs to be addressed," said New York Area Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, if New York JFON is to fulfill its mission of providing high-quality legal services to vulnerable populations who cannot afford those services." By expanding language services, he added, "the playing field will be leveled, and that is justice."
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Loving God, you intend for each of us to envision a future with hope. Inspire us to give generously so all of your children can achieve their dreams. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Day of Pentecost — God of wind and fire, we come this morning grateful that your involvement with the church didn't end at the cross and didn't end at the tomb, but that you poured out your Holy Spirit on your church on that first Pentecost, and that you have done so every day since. As we bring our tithes and offering to you this day, set us on fire once again. Help us to open the sails of our lives to the mighty movement of your spirit, that it might send us from this place into a hurting and disconnected world. Fill us with your power; in Christ, we pray. Amen. (Acts 2:1-21)
In Nigeria, as in many areas of the world, substance abuse, the harmful or hazardous use of alcohol and illicit drugs, is a critical concern. Helping to address this problem is the Kapwa Wholeness Foundation, which recently received a United Methodist Peace with Justice grant. The program's focus is educating and rehabilitating 100 youth to encourage healthy living and keep them in school.
Kapwa strives to nurture youth to reach their God-given potential. "Combating these systemic issues at all costs," said the Rev. Eunice M. Iliya, a United Methodist pastor and founder/managing director of the foundation, "is worth reaching out and investing in it collectively. We started with 150 people; today we have about 400 participants. We have 20 young people who have become sober through the activities of the program. They need your prayers."
United Methodist gifts to the Peace with Justice Sunday offering reach people around the world. Thank you!