Build RelationshipsNew Every Morning | May 25, 2021
Although faith-based, most pantries and meals are transactional. We can improve them by creating ways for them to become relational. Transactional ministry involves an exchange: People with little money are pressured to “earn” access to direct service from church volunteers through correct (generally submissive) behavior and a good story as to how they got into their situation. Relational ministry gets beyond the “good story” to find the real story about what is happening in people’s lives and in their faith. It aims to build relationships. Those relationships create church.
—Elizabeth Mae Magill, Five Loaves, Two Fish, Twelve Volunteers: Growing a Relational Food Ministry (Upper Room Books, 2020)
How can you influence your community to embrace a relational approach to ministry? Join the conversation.
Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
—Romans 12:10 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Help me see Jesus in those around me. Help me see that Jesus is present among all people, including those who lack food, drink, and clothing and those who are strangers, sick, and imprisoned.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Trinity Sunday (May 30)
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I really liked this from today’s reflection. “Relational ministry gets beyond the “good story” to find the real story about what is happening in people’s lives and in their faith. It aims to build relationships. Those relationships create church.” Yes, indeed. Jesus didn’t ask for a good story. He knew the facts, the situation and built a relationship from there. Harder for us to do, BUT IT CAN BE DONE. Bible study starts in a few minutes. Have a blessed day. Thank You, Lord.
I, too, liked the words in this reflection as welll as the concept. I tried to begin an outreach within my church by raising the question in my committee meeting and people looked at me as though I had lost my mind. They are an older congregation and used to doing things “the old way.”
Prayers for Robert and his church as they transition to a new pastor. Prayers for Ally’s physical health and job and David’s mental health. Prayers for Jill and her students as the school year swiftly ends. Prayers for Lou’s safe arrival home. Prayers for Marcy and her physical, emotional and financial struggles.
Our church has some great ministries. Some of our volunteers work tirelessly to help others, but tend to view people as projects. A dear friend and fellow member discussed back before the pandemic how to view the people we serve as friends and partners in ministry. One way we discussed is to involve them in the helping and decision-making. There is a church in Atlanta that welcomes persons with serious mental illness and offers opportunities for them to serve in leadership. My prayer is to work in partnership so that all can serve together.
David has a stress test tomorrow. We don’t anticipate any real problems, but appreciate your prayers. I’ve sent some messages to the contractor I’m supposed to start work with but have not heard back. I pray this thing will pan out. My sister met with a firm that does clean-outs about cleaning out our mom’s house. It has been a task we have not wanted to tackle on numerous levels, most of all because it is the house where we grew up and it breaks our heart to know that it will be sold and we won’t ever go back. It is small and ordinary house, but so dear. Please continue prayers for little Connor and my cousin Rachel, who still struggles with blood sugar issues after removal of her pancreas due to chronic pancreatitis. She still has considerable pain as well. Lots of things on my heart today.
Julie, prayers for your and Megan as you seek peace and justice. Robert, I pray for healing and wholeness in your and Erich’s relationship. Prayers for Lou as she makes her way home. Prayers continue for healing for Marcy. Thank You Lord, for UR Family. Blessings to all.
A member of my small group volunteers at a church near her house bi-weekly. She home schools her kids and takes them with her to help with food distribution. Each time – while her kids and other volunteers distribute the food, she greets each car which comes through and briefly prays with them. She has begun developing relationships as faces are familiar and she remembers their concerns/struggles.
Seniors from the program I teach in came to school for a group picture – they were all in their caps and gowns. It was good to see them all in one place. They look very happy and will be even more so tomorrow – at graduation.
It was fun to reunite with tennis friends last night – some of which have had to stop playing due to injuries. Our team is having another reunion of sorts, one week from tonight, as we play a neighboring club and some of our teammates or former teammates have children now playing on the teams.
Prayers for the concerns regarding Ally’s employment possibility and David’s stress test. Prayers, too, for Marcy – may she get the assistance needed.