Friday, February 01, 2019

The Moderator's Column

Speaking about our Neighbors

I am excited to begin my term with the IL/WI District as your Moderator. The theme, “For the Glory of God and Our Neighbor’s Good”, has become such an important one for our country as we see all of the needs of our neighbors.

I chose this theme because like Fred Rogers I believe that “appreciation for our neighbors is a holy thing- that we look for what’s best in a person we hope to be with at the moment and at that time we are doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbors, we’re participating in something sacred.”

I want to thank all of you, both as individuals and as churches, for the work you are already doing in exploring ways to help those who desperately need food, clothing, shelter, and other important things to have a quality of life. And mostly, for how we are all trying to share the love of Jesus to those who still don’t know him.

The Church of the Brethren has a long history of going beyond to meet the needs of ALL and to show the love of Jesus to absolutely everyone, regardless of whether we know them.

It is in that vein that I would like to challenge us each month to have an Extra Plate. You may use an offering plate, a food plate, a box; you set up the visual. However, each month I will be challenging our churches to give to our own communities, perhaps in a way that we have never given before.

In light of the government shutdown in which so many people not getting their paychecks, my challenge for this month is this: collect what extra money you can in your extra plate this month and have your pastor/board chair/ deacon/ take it to a utility payment center and pay someone’s bill who is about to have their water, heat, or gas shut off!

Please note that all these challenges have no dollar amount on them; whatever you gather will help! The idea is to help those that we do NOT KNOW!

It would be great if you can report back to myself or the District office with videos, pictures, stories, or even ideas of challenges you would like me to include. We are here to lift our neighbors up and show them we care, even if we are not close friends. If we do this together I can’t imagine the changes that would happen.

Thank you in advance for participating in a loving way with your neighbors. Hint for February: It’s the month of Valentine’s Day!

Blessings, Moderator Leslie Lake

If you would like me to come and talk with your Board or congregation about our theme this year, please contact me. I am anxious to know how I can be of assistance to the District.