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Mutual Aid in the Season of Giving

Mutual Aid in the Season of Giving

by Rev. Randy Knighten on December 05, 2023

Mutual Aid in the Season of Giving

Even as an adult, I never seem to forget the moments when a family lost a loved one in the small community that I grew up in just outside of Baton Rouge. I remember very few of the actual funeral services but I do remember people from our community walking from door to door collecting money to care for the needs of the family. This was my first experience with something called mutual aid. Mutual aid is the idea that communities can rally to become the support systems and the solutions that they need in times of difficulty. When a crisis strikes, connecting with and caring for those around you can make all the difference.

Mutual aid became something of a buzzphrase during the pandemic, with
neighborhoods and networks cropping up to share groceries, clothes, and other resources. The pandemic taught us early and often that any of us could find ourselves in a precarious situation, dependent on others to meet our basic needs. The text above from Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church encourages the church to take up an offering for those who were experiencing difficulties in Jerusalem.

Jewish Annotated New Testament notes that early Judaism saw support for each other as a religious obligation stemming from God’s provision for all people. In 2 Corinthians 8:15, Paul underscores this point when he quotes from Exodus 16, about the gift of manna in the wilderness. Moses instructs the Israelites to gather what they need. Some gather more, some less, but no one ends up with an excess or a lack. Just as the Church of Corinth was presented with the opportunity to financially support the community, we will also be presented with an opportunity to support people in need by supporting organizations that are working alongside them each day. We will be able to offer our support by participating in the Risk-Taking Mission and Service Holiday Bake Sale and Gifts of Hope.

The Holiday Bake Sale will take place on December 8 in the Fellowship Hall, in conjunction with the annual Tidings of Joy concert. This is our chance to spread holiday cheer and make a difference by supporting Saint John’s mission projects. The bake sale opens from 4 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. and will re-open after the concert.

Also on December 8, during Tidings of Joy, and on December 10 and 17 after both services, you can support a local organization by participating in Gifts of Hope. Purchasing these gift cards is an excellent way to light up someone's holiday season and support meaningful mission work at the same time!  You may honor loved ones with a gift donation to one of several worthy organizations. See below for a complete list of this year's organizations.

In this season of giving, let us come together in the practice of mutual aid to help those in need. 

Grace and Peace,

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