By Jorge Navarette
“Come, thou long expected Jesus, Born to set thy people free; From our fears and sins release us; Let us find our rest in thee.” — Charles Wesley
Well, here we are in the midst of another Advent season, and while we wait for the arrival of the promised one, the anointed one, will we do so with an attitude of gratitude for what his blessed arrival means? And after the celebration and rest of the season will we also carry the warmth, the meaning and the gratitude into the New Year? This would be a great time to contemplate making a plan for a new start in keeping with the spirit of the season, one that will bring positive changes.
Will this be the year that we, individually and collectively, reduce our conspicuous consumption and carbon footprint, eat more sensibly, reduce the number of activities and increase the level of quality time with our loved ones, talk less about it and become more involved in more meaningful things — “eternally significant matters,’’ as my colleague
If you, your church or your missions group have not yet made plans for how during the next year you will impact your needy neighbor outside your church’s door or even those across the world, then now is the perfect time to look around and find mission and outreach opportunities and, most importantly, get involved in them.
Have you considered starting a support group in your neighborhood for families of our military men and women serving overseas?
Could you partner with or volunteer at your community or county agencies supporting programs for seniors, children and youth? Is a soup kitchen, clothes closet or other basic needs outlet needed in your community? If so, what can you do, what can your church do to fill the gap?
Do your local schools need help with tutoring? Will you look into being a big brother or a big sister to a single-parent or an at-risk child?
Is there a county jail, a hospital, a nursing home or a hospice nearby where you or your church can become involved through visitation, evangelization or outreach, offering to do things that these folks or their families cannot do themselves?
We know all too well that the needs are great, so there is plenty of variety and levels of involvement in which we all can be involved. Within our state are nine community centers, and Katrina recovery efforts depend on mission and outreach- minded folks, like you perhaps.
If you speak Spanish or other languages are there opportunities in your community to teach English as second language to new arrivals? Whether you speak a foreign language or not, you can always find a spot on one of the many overseas mission trips going on year round. Some are sponsored by the General Board of Global Ministries and others are home-grown organizations trying to do mission and outreach outside our country.
Next door or across the world is a mission opportunity waiting for someone to say. “I’ll do it.” In the warm glow of this season of love and giving, now is the time for us to say, “Yes, I will give of myself and become involved.”
If you have any questions or need help about how to get a missions program started at your church call Navarrette at the