A Mission Update from the Daniel Foundation
I was just reading about the paralyzed man who was lowered through the roof of someone’s home (!?) and laid before Jesus. Jesus, we are told, ‘saw their faith’ and replies, ‘your sins are forgiven’ which sets off the clergy. Jesus responds by essentially telling the gentleman who lay before him to, "get up, take your mat and go home,” which he did, giving street cred to Jesus’ ability to forgive sins.
He ‘saw’ their faith, as if to suggest that faith is a verb?! I, for one, wish faith were solely a noun, (some'thing' heard) rather than a verb (some action seen) but that pesky apostle James simply won’t let me do it.
I was in Philly one Saturday morning in February with a group from our church that sets up tables and feeds homeless people. I saw a number of men who were willing to get up early on a Saturday and serve homeless people but, interestingly enough, were unwilling to attend church, even though most, if not all, of their wives do.
As if that were not enough, I was sitting at church the next day watching a series of slides about a ministry of home repair that our church is involved with. Again, I noticed that a number of men were willing to spend a good part of Saturdays repairing homes for poor people but were unwilling to attend church, even though most, if not all, of their wives do.
It made me wonder whether or not one of the reasons men are less likely to attend church is because the faith they often hear about at church has become too, ‘verbal,' not ‘verb-al’ enough for them.
All that to say that I (along with a few of the men that I visit with) are thinking about beginning a monthly gathering on Sunday morning for people who understand that faith is also a verb. Am not sure how it will look as we are just beginning ‘the conversation,’ as they say. It may involve breakfast and/or coffee and pastries here at The Bookworm, followed by a brief reflection on one of the gospels before going out to do some sort of community service for an hour or two, depending upon what schedules allow. Community service may involve anything from renovations of The Bookworm, or cleaning up a highway or a park, or feeding local homeless folks, or visiting a local nursing home, or....who knows? My hope is that it will involve quite a mix of people, the only prerequisite being a desire to serve others in a practical way.
If you’re interested, please email me at email@example.com and I will add you to our e-list so that you can be notified when we begin.
If you have any community service ideas or suggestions that we might consider here in Phoenixville, please email me and I will add it to our list!
The Daniel Foundation