Sunday, April 27
The Lord’s Day
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Minute for Mission: Multicultural Church/Immigration
"Stories of struggle. Stories of sorrow. Stories of laughter and tears. Stories of family separation. Stories from powerful and strong members of our community. That’s what I get to hear every day at the Southside Worker Center just through the act of being present,” shared Young Adult Volunteer Stephanie Quintana. The Southside Worker Center in Tucson, Arizona, is a ministry of presence. Volunteers stand with day laborers, some of whom are vulnerable due to their immigration status, in the early morning hours to make sure that prospective employers are willing to pay a fair wage and offer safe working conditions.
Presence, or accompaniment, is a valuable ministry of the church. We become Christ’s hands and feet in the world and stand with others who are facing difficult situations. In today’s reading from Acts, Jesus finds rest in knowing that God was with him when he faced crucifixion. In today’s passage from John, Jesus appears to the disciples after his death, at a time when they were still fearful and meeting behind closed doors. He says to them, “Peace be with you,” and they are filled with joy (John 19b–20). What a joy it is, both to be comforted by someone’s presence and to be that presence for someone else.
“Nowadays, we have access to so many distractions in our daily lives that we forget the power and importance of being present in the moment,” Stephanie says. “The Southside Worker Center is based on the principles of solidarity, justice, respect, and dignity. We learn, together, practical ways to build our community in those shared values. Actively listening to each other as we share our struggles as immigrants, workers, parents, and members of the community is a way to demonstrate solidarity and respect; it is a way to say to each other: ‘I am with you. Your struggle is my struggle!’ By doing so, our community grows empowered by a collective story of hope in the midst of oppression.”
—Teresa Waggener, Immigration Issues, Office of the General Assembly
Let us pray
Gracious God, you are right beside us. Help us both to see the opportunities we have to be present with others and to be grateful for those who are present with us. Amen.
Sunday Lectionary and Hymns
Acts 2:14a, 22–32
“Thine Is the Glory”
HB 209, PH 122
“When in the Night I Meditate”
HB, 68, PH 165
1 Peter 1:3–9
“Hope of the World”
HB 291, PH 360
“O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”
HB 141, PH 466