A Moment for Mission
"…But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children." —1 Thessalonians 2:7, NRSV
So much of the ministry of Jesus and the ministry of the disciples and even the early church involved healing and caring for the sick. Christians were known for caring for the ill when even a person's own family members had abandoned them for fear of contracting the illness themselves. The Christian witness in the early church was selflessness in the face of these illnesses, meeting people where they were in the midst of their darkest moments.
The United Methodist Church is committed to carrying on this tradition in the many ways United Methodists are engaged in the work of global health. One of these commitments is to celebrating Golden Cross Sunday. Golden Cross Sunday honors the health and welfare ministries of United Methodist churches that do the work of caring for people at the most basic levels, meeting people where they are and in their moment of need. Each conference sets their own date to lift up and collect funds for the Golden Cross fund. Some of these funds are used for assisting with health care balances; some are used in conjunction with ministry with the aging. All of these funds are important in carrying our most basic call to care for others. When we give generously to our conference's Golden Cross Sunday offering, we are participating in the sacred work of caring for others and of healing the sick.
God, we thank you for the health that we enjoy. Today we lift up caregivers and health care workers who gently and faithfully care for those who are ill and aging. Plant within us a desire to give to the Golden Cross Fund, participating in the holy work of healing the sick. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost - Holy God, you continually work to transform the brokenness of this world into your Kingdom. You lift us up when we stumble in sin, so that we may honor you and live for your noble purposes. Embolden our congregation to tell others about your Son Jesus, whose presence brings new life. Fill our hearts with your Spirit's gift of generosity, so that our lives and our offerings will be pleasing to you. Amen. (1 Thessalonians 2:1-8)
Golden Cross Sunday celebrates Health and Wellness Ministries in The United Methodist Church. On Golden Cross Sunday, funds are collected to cover the costs of these ministries. Some ministries that receive Golden Cross funds assist with medical costs for individuals while other ministries focus on the care for the aging and developing senior ministries. This work of tenderly caring for the ill and aging is important in moments when health care has become an industry. When the burden of caring for ill and elderly family members takes its toll, it is important to find support.
Filling in these gaps is precisely what these Golden Cross funds are used to accomplish. From clinics, medication and social services, all the way to developing communities of support in older adult groups — each of the health and wellness ministries that benefit from the Golden Cross funds serves an important role in the lives of those receiving care. Our generous gifts on Golden Cross Sunday help shoulder the burdens alongside families in our community and our world.