The idea of re-thinking church has a lot to do with the church going out into the world and doing acts of mercy and justice. The church does not just gather on Sundays for worship, fellowship and nurture. It is a “verb” that does the works of Christ where people need help the most. The re-thought church keeps a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other hand to be quick to see where people in the world are hurting and in need of Christ’s love and compassion.
Recently many soldiers left Iraq as this military effort has come to an end there. I thank God that we are ending this conflict. When our soldiers come home there are many needs. There are also many soldiers still deployed around the world with families left at home. Our military families are in need of support systems (housing, child care, food, community, counseling, etc.)
A Wesley Foundation near the Ft. Campbell Army Post saw this need and developed the “Lazarus Project”. This program provides for the many needs of our military families using students from Austin Peay State University students. The National Guard in Delaware has a similar program and it matches military families with churches that have indicated an interest in helping. What can you do to help people in the military…either here or abroad? Our area stretches across three states and each area is unique. I challenge you to find out what is happening in your area and reach out to these families. It is all about out-reach...it is all about love.
Order your copy of Care for Returning Veterans, a DVD produced by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. According to Rev. Tom Carter, director of endorsement and pastoral care for the General Board of Higer Education and Ministry's United Methodist Endorsing Agency, "Many resources have been developed and provided for churches, but this DVD is the best that I have seen." To learn more, visit: www.gbhem.org/chaplains.