Shining the Light of Christ on the Streets of Indianapolis
Looking into the eyes of the Rev. Charles Harrison, pastor of Barnes United Methodist Church in Indianapolis and president of the board of the Indy TenPoint Coalition, a young man made his tearful confession. “I was living in a community that was so violent, it was forcing me to do things I didn’t want to do but felt like I had to do,” he said.
Indy TenPoint gave him hope and showed him that there were loving and caring people to help him become what God designed for him to be in life.
The Indy TenPoint Coalition — with its “boots-on-the-ground” approach to reducing violence, increasing employment and enhancing educational achievement — caught the attention of Leslie Olsen, chair of the mission team at Faith Presbyterian Church. Leslie immediately connected her church’s annual participation in the Peace & Global Witness Offering with the local initiative’s work.
“Our supporting them wasn’t a difficult decision to make,” Leslie said. “It was a new concept to me anyway that volunteers — these incredible people, just like you and me — would be willing to put their lives on the line every night or as often as they did. They were out there patrolling our streets, which were becoming more and more dangerous. They were doing God’s work in a spiritual, faithful way, and I was just really inspired by that.”
For many congregations like ours, taking part in the Peace & Global Witness Offering is making a commitment to the work of peacemaking at all levels of church and society. Working as the Church, together, we can make a difference in so many places and in so many ways. Fifty percent of the Offering supports peacemaking and global witness work around the world, while 25% percent is retained by our congregation for local peace and reconciliation work, and 25% goes to our mid council for similar ministries on the regional level. (TALK ABOUT YOUR CONGREGATION AND/OR MID COUNCIL’S MINISTRIES)
Faith Presbyterian’s pastor, the Rev. Charlotte Lohrenz, offers a thoughtful reflection for us all to consider: “I was thinking about how participating in Peace & Global Witness is so needed in our world now. As a pastor and a Christian, what I really appreciate about the Special Offerings that have the national, international and local component is that they really do make it possible for us, as a single congregation, to participate in this larger work that we would not be able to do on our own. Then we get the nudge to look at what’s going on in our local community and how we can be actively engaged and contributing there. It’s a wonderful balance and a new kind of challenge for us every time.”
With our gifts, we accept this challenge. Please give generously — for when we all do a little, it adds up to a lot.
Let us pray~
Holy One, creator of all, make us instruments of your peace and vessels of your joy. May our actions done in your name bring peace among our neighbors and honor to your name. Amen.
Please give generously to the Offering:
- Through your congregation
- Text PCUSAPEACE to 41444