A Moment for Mission
"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; … One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts." — Psalm 145:3-4, NRSV
Traditionally, National Donor Sabbath is observed annually two weekends before Thanksgiving. This three-day observance seeks to include the days of worship for major religions practiced in the United States.
The United Methodist Church celebrates Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday as "a time to come together around the issues of life and Thanksgiving" (The Book of Discipline, Par. 264.3). Congregations are encouraged to support this special Sunday by including the topic in their worship services. The General Board of Church and Society supervises and promotes the observance. Worship resources are available through nonprofit donor programs in the United States.
Today, most faith communities support organ donation and the individual choices of its members. Many view donation as an act of compassion and generosity. Since people often turn to their faith leaders for help when dealing with life-and-death issues, National Donor Sabbath provides an opportunity for faith communities to share their views and join in the conversation.
On Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday, United Methodists often invite faith leaders, donor families, transplant recipients and donation and transplantation professionals to participate in services and encourage people to sign up in their state registry.
"I'm feeling beyond blessed," said Elaine Holloway, a retired music teacher. Her former pastor, the Rev. Jeffrey Bealmear, donated a critically needed kidney to her in 2018. Holloway attends Monticello (Illinois) United Methodist Church; Bealmear now serves First UMC, Olney, Illinois.
— Adapted from U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration website and other sources
Loving God, you are, indeed, greatly to be praised! Teach us the joy of selfless giving that blesses everyone around us. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Twenty Second Sunday After Pentecost — God of all time and space, we bring our gifts to your altar, knowing your presence with us transcends our time on earth. You are the God of the living, right here and in your heavenly kingdom. As we give, we pray that our gifts will be used for compassion, justice, and reconciliation. We pray that we might see a glimpse of your heavenly kingdom right here in our earthly days. We pray this in the name of Christ, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen. Luke 20:27-38
"United Methodists are committed to medicine and to science and ways of healing all," said the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe in "Reflections on Our Faith."
The General Board of Church and Society executive continued, "Because we believe in health care for all, we believe that organ donation and transplantation is a gift that we can give back. It is one of the great gifts that many of us in our own families have supported our family members and those we love to make this kind of donation.
"Organ donation is a gift of love, and we hope that it is one that you will prayerfully consider."
According to Donate Life America, 113,000 people await a lifesaving transplant. Another person is added to a waiting list every 10 minutes. Ninety-five percent of Americans are in favor of being a donor, but only 58 percent are registered.
Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday is an opportunity to make a huge difference. Sign up to be a donor. Thank you!