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With a 30-pound pack on his back and a mission in his heart, the Rev. Zachary Morton, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Morgantown, West Virginia, set out Sept. 21 on an eight-day, nearly 150-mile walk to the state capitol in Charleston.
One of the long-term effects of COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries will be widespread famine. In Madagascar, where the average person lives on less than $250 a year, the FJKM (Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar) fruit tree center at Mahatsinjo will help offset the impact of hunger in one of the poorest countries in the world.
The most common way a sermon about money goes wrong is when people hear guilt and shame rather than grace and gratitude. These emotions are not helpful. But like weeds in spring, guilt and shame seem to always emerge when talking about money. The antidote is to be clear that everything that is good in our life springs from the well of grace — God’s undeserved and unmerited favor— and the only appropriate response to grace is gratitude. Theologian Karl Barth said it beautifully when he wrote, “Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightning.”