Posted June 2016
Listen to Pastor Steve’s conversation with Barb Drogemuller about her serving at the Mission Store.
Call to Spiritual Renewal – Serve
There many ways that people connect to God – some are mystics (sensing a deep mystical connection), some are theologians (studying scripture and thinking about who God is), some connect through worship, and some serve the world in God’s name. Most of us are some combination of those ways to connect with God.
When I work with young Christians, starting especially in their teenage years, many feel the strongest connection to the faith and God through serving the world. Our young people who participate in confirmation class, or go to the various youth gatherings both local and national, usually participate in servant events, like cleaning up a river bank, visiting seniors in nursing homes, serving people at a community meals or sorting through donations at a places like the Mission Store here in London.
However, it isn’t just young people that you find doing those servant activities. I spoke with Barb Drogemuller about her 21 years of servant work at the Mission Store and I asked her why she enjoys the work so much. She said, “I love it. You feel like you are doing something for someone else and it gives you satisfaction to see a lot of people being helped.” Barb has given a lot of her time, love and energy since she retired and jokes that she wants to keep doing this until she’s 95. She is driven by a hope that this work will help many “people get on the right track” with their lives and that she is giving people a hand up from whatever situation has gotten them to this point of need. I asked Barb if she had any particular skills that she brought into her years of service and she told me “not really, but you have to get used hearing things (about people’s life stories), and you cannot pass judgement.”
Barb is but one of the people at Trinity who serve God’s creation. I know that there are people who serve at the May Court Store, or sit with others while they receive dialysis and many who are part of Trinity’s evening at the Northern Hospitality community meal, to name just three ways that Trinity people serve.
Serving is an integral part of our Christian faith – many would label it as a calling. In Bishop Susan Johnson’s 2014 July/August article in Canada Lutheran magazine, she writes “Following Jesus means we are called to reach out to those around us who are in need. “ This calling is not just for pastors or deacons, but all Christians are called to serve and be a part of God`s mission to a hurting world.
There are many scripture passages that guide us toward serving others. Which one touches you the most?
- Micah 6:8—“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? “
- Luke 4:18–21 – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. …Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. “
- Luke 10: 25-37 – When a lawyer asked Jesus, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus asked the man what does scripture say? He replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself”. Then the man asked, “and who is my neighbour?” Jesus told him the story of the merciful Samaritan who acted as a neighbour to the man beaten by robbers.
- Matthew 25: 31-46 – When Jesus tells the parable of the last judgement, the righteous ask, “and when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:37–40)
Volunteering in the community is serving God through serving others. It takes compassion for others, it takes mercy, it takes an attitude of non-judgement. Through volunteering you will likely find a deeper connection with God. “For God so loves the world” that we are invited and entrusted to participate in God’s mission to love and save the world.
Share with me how you volunteer and serve, or ask me for help if you would like to start.
The new Mission store location is an old grocery store at the corner of rectory and York Street. You are welcome to drop in and visit – or shop: Monday to Friday 9:00am – 4:30pm ; Saturday 9:30am – 3:00pm at 797 York St, London ;
Here are some other ideas from the ELCIC website to help you in your service to the community:
❏ Join a local outreach program such as a food bank or meal program: like Trinity`s Northern Hospitality – talk to Laurie & Kathy Meadows; St. Paul`s Social Services (food bank and community meals Mon, Wed, Fri) – talk to Pastor Steve; St. John the Evangelist’s Saturday evening community meal.
❏ Participate in a locally-grown food-box program.
❏ Volunteer with an organization such as a local women’s shelter, a local hospital, a literacy program.
❏ Volunteer as driver for medical appointments with Meals on Wheels or other organisations.
❏ Volunteer or give your support to Habitat for Humanity or give useable building materials to your local Restore.
❏ Become involved in a political advocacy group, a campaign, or a political party to be a voice for positive change.
Yours in Christ