Have you noticed a
trend in your local news headlines recently? Here are a few of ours...
MCC SUPPORTS BIG BROTHERS/BIG SISTERS. Our MCC Thrift Shop partners with local charities three times a year. This year, MCC donated generously to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Youth forChrist/Youth Unlimited, and Prairie Pregnancy Support Centre.
Rest-A-Bit Partners With Prairie Welcome House. Here we find two local initiatives joining forces to better serve people in need in our community, giving folks a warm place to stay as the colder weather approaches.
Paraclete Transport Pledges to Help STARS tells about a trucking company pledging to fund-raise and donate to STARS Air Ambulance.
Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse provided food for “GratiTuesdays” all through October, benefiting four different local not-for-profits.
I could go on. You get the idea. Would it surprise you to know these headlines provide glimpses into the Kingdom of God?
Because of Covid-19, my church could not hold its annual Thanksgiving banquet where for decades, we’ve gathered to eat and celebrate the good things God has done in our church and in our community. Our leaders brainstormed about how we might observe the tradition under pandemic restrictions, with outside-the-box thinking.
Perhaps they took a cue from Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, who said, “When you hand good people possibility, they do great things.”
Our congregation’s continued generosity during this crisis enabled the church to give each of its “house churches” some seed money. (House churches are smaller groups within the larger church that meet regularly in homes to share life, pray together, assist one another, and find ways to serve our community.) Each house church was to dream up a way to bless their community, document it, and then meet in our individual bubbles to enjoy a meal and view the collected stories all at the same time, broadcast live over You Tube.
One group put together Thanksgiving meal hampers for people in need. One supplied the soup kitchen. Another made care packages and walked alongside the Bear Clan on their Friday night patrol. Another group stocked the little free pantries around town. Another provided toques and mitts to schools, the women’s shelter and homeless shelter.
My group used our share to purchase grocery gift cards and coffee shop gift cards for the Rest-a-Bit shelter. We added homemade frozen meals and baked goods and delivered them together.
Other groups used theirs in a variety of creative ways, like taking fresh hot pizza to the residents of Regency House, school supplies to the Portage Learning and Literacy Center, and gift bags to the residents of Douglas Campbell Lodge.
The Prairie Pregnancy Support Centre received gift cards and diapers, some high school kids got gift cards, a fostering family accepted a couple of refurbished laptops. Another family obtained Lego and casseroles, while the Tupper Street Family Resource Centre received hampers to distribute to its clients.
One group built a “buddy bench” for the Westpark Schoolplayground, where kids can find a safe place to talk and make a friend. Another group contributed countless hours and energy into the great potato give-away you’ve been reading about.
In his book, All Things New, John Eldredge advises us to “ask Jesus to show you his kingdom.” He adds, “Stay open to surprises; keep asking for glimpses of the kingdom any way God wants to bring them. This is how we reach into the future to take hold of the hope that is our anchor.”