Mission Foci for May – Community Engagement, Who Is Our Neighbor and Accompaniment

May 22, 2020

The mission foci for May is Community Engagement, who is our neighbor, and accompaniment. While we may not always recognize it, we are all together in a web of mutual interdependence. When we recognize it on a spiritual level, we call it love. (May, 5, 2020 https://www.cac.org/category/daily-meditations/)

The ELCA, in partnership with other international Lutheran bodies, proposed five accompaniment values to unpack what accompaniment means: Mutuality, Inclusivity, Vulnerability, Empowerment, and Sustainability. For five weeks, this section will explore one in depth.

Inclusivity – A commitment to relationships which addresses inclusion and asks who is excluded and why. If relationships were represented by a circle, some people would be inside the circle with us, some would be on the circumference of the circle, and some would be on the outside of the circle with little hope of being invited inside. It makes sense in our personal lives to be close to some, acquaintances with some, and not close to others. What about the relationship of our church, BLC, with All Others? Who is on the inside? Who is on the edge? Who is on the outside and doesn’t feel welcome? Here is what a church, sensitive to inclusivity, does as beginning steps: Participants reflect on why, where, and how others have been excluded. With input from as many voices as possible, explicit plans are created to welcome and make room for those who have felt excluded. Inclusive practices are developed together to replace practices which exclude.

Sowing Seeds of Hope – The BLC Sowing Seeds of Hope Spring appeal will support local, national and international needs through your donations, if you so choose. No pressure here; you can simply plant (it’s not too early!) or share the packet of seeds enclosed in the letter you received. Give a little bit of your love or maybe part of your stimulus check.

Funds received will be split between:

–>Perinton Food Shelf (addressing local food insecurity)

–>Zimbabwe drought and hunger relief (our global companion)

–>Lutheran Disaster Response (COVID-19 needs)

Southern Africa faith formation manuals for Sunday School and Confirmation teachers created in southern Africa and printed in native Shona – The Lutheran Communion of Southern Africa (LUCSA) has already paid for the creation and translation of these manuals but has reached out to us as a partner to pay for the printing. The total cost is $5070 to be raised by the synod. If Sunday School or Confirmation is your thing, consider donating to this cause.

When sending funds via Tithe.ly.com or to the church office, please indicate clearly how the funds should be used!