Paul in his letter to the Romans lays out his argument for justification by faith. While there is nothing that we need to do to earn redemption in a transactional sense, there are ways in which we are driven to respond to God’s grace in our lives. In Romans 5 Paul invites us to consider what this might look like through the fruits of endurance, character, and hope (Romans 5:1-8).
When I hear these words I ask myself: In what ways am I enduring to help others? In what ways am I building up character in myself and others? In what ways am I being a beacon of hope? In what ways are you doing these things sisters and brothers? I ask us these questions not because I don’t think we are doing these things in our lives, but because I know we are and I want to celebrate those ways in which we provide hope to others as well as the ways in which we build character within ourselves. Especially in times like we are living through it is important we keep these questions before us; inviting God’s Spirit to draw us deeper into this work.
To that end I write to you today with two upcoming opportunities to help others, to build character within ourselves, and to be a beacon of hope in the world. The first is a Food Drive for Nourish NC with several other Episcopal churches in Wilmington. The second is an invitation to enter into the work of racial healing within ourselves and the world we live in through the Sacred Ground dialogue series. More information on both of these offerings is found below.
Food Drive for Nourish NC
Beginning on Wednesday June 24 and ending Sunday June 28 St. Paul’s Community Ministries will be hosting a food drive with several other area Episcopal Churches. St. Paul’s will serve as the main drop off location for this drive. We will need a small handful of volunteers on Sunday June 28 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to help receive donations; the other congregations are providing volunteers for each of the other days. If you are interested in volunteering on this day please reach out to The Rev. Adam Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org; volunteer slots are limited. As you shop Nourish NC has asked us to focus on the following items:
• Mac and Cheese
• Regular sized cereal boxes
• Hearty Soups/Stews
• Pasta Sauce
There will be more information on this drive in the days ahead including other options for giving; do check our Facebook Page, website, and E-News for this information. Thank you for helping others and being beacons of hope as we partner with Nourish NC and other Episcopal churches to alleviate childhood hunger in our community.
In recent months we have been made painfully aware of the need for the ongoing work of racial healing. If you have followed the recent events and found yourself asking “What can I do?” or “Where can I learn more about the underlying history fueling these protests?” or if you’ve always been passionate about this work Sacred Ground may be a next step on your journey. Sacred Ground is 10 session discussion series created by the Episcopal Church. You may find more information about this course by clicking here. The course is in-depth and utilizes documentaries and reading materials to help us reflect on the histories and forces that have shaped our stories; with this knowledge and awareness we can begin the work of healing. This work by nature is best suited for small groups. At this time there is already one group of St. Paul’s members being led by The Rev. Adam Pierce and Ellen Weig ready to begin this work. However, if you are interested in joining this discussion please contact Royster Hedgepeth at email@example.com. Royster is eager to begin a second dialogue group in order to broaden St. Paul’s reflection and impact in the area of racial healing. It is my prayer for all of us at St. Paul’s that this work will be a major part of what invites us to develop stronger character in ourselves and others, to endure to help others, and to make us a brighter beacon of hope in this world.
Rev’d Adam Pierce