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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Minute for Mission: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Blue T-Shirt Sunday


February 18, 2024

Man in Inside: David Barnhart

One of the perks of being a PDA volunteer is getting to wear the infamous blue T-shirt. All you must do to earn a shirt is participate in PDA disaster recovery efforts. Whether you’ve been on a PDA work trip or any mission trip at all, you know how God’s Spirit stirs something within you when you when you volunteer. There’s something humbling and sacred about approaching a service opportunity with open hands and a willing heart. For some, a blue T-shirt may not mean much. But, for many, donning a blue PDA T-shirt is a symbol of pride and reminder of community resilience.

In the field of disaster recovery, a PDA blue shirt is recognizable as a symbol of compassion, love and support. The offering of time and energy from blue shirt volunteers grants people the opportunity to return to their homes after enduring devastating natural disasters. For many disaster survivors, volunteers dressed in royal blue were the reason they were able to rebuild that which was lost and embrace hope for a better future. This is why wearing a PDA T-shirt is a symbol of love and an act of faith.

Group Picture: Cameron Stevens

In English, we use faith as a noun, but in Greek, faith is a verb. Utilizing faith as a verb compels us to believe that faith is not just something we have, but rather is something that we do. As followers of Christ, we aren’t simply called to have faith; God instructs us to embody faith. Blue T-shirt volunteers live this out every time they put on this symbol of love.

To wear your PDA T-shirt on Blue T-Shirt Sunday is to celebrate the work that God is doing through disaster recovery and anticipate the work that lies ahead for volunteers and ministries of the church. To celebrate Blue T-Shirt Sunday is to invite churches to participate in the PC(USA)’s humanitarian efforts through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

The funds raised during Lent equip the Presbyterian Hunger Program, the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to engage in the work that God has called this church to do. Blue T-Shirt Sunday paves the way to celebrate the work God is doing through ministries of our denomination as well as the staff and volunteers who engage together in this hard and holy work of shared ministry. 

Today, as we don our T-shirts in celebration of Blue T-Shirt Sunday, may we hold closely our own stories of volunteerism, love and compassion. May we pray and discern how God may be calling us to love our neighbors more faithfully through giving and through service.

Friends, God is challenging us all to go into the world and live out our faith: through actions and through offerings. So, my beloved siblings in Christ, go forth and serve!  

Rev. Nell M. Herring, Mission Specialist for Volunteer Ministries, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, February 18, 2024, the First Sunday in Lent (Year B)

Today’s Focus: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Blue T-Shirt Sunday

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Andrew Browne, Executive Vice President, Board of Pensions
Vernon Broyles, Volunteer, Office of the General Assembly

Let us pray

Gracious and loving God, you equip us with compassionate hearts and willing hands. Empower us to put our faith into action. Whether we serve wearing blue T-shirts or we adorn ourselves with neighborly compassion, compel us to get to work. May we listen intently, hold carefully and respond faithfully to your call. Challenge us to live out our faith through serving your children and by providing for the ministries of your church. May we walk in the ways of your Son and be guided into action by your Spirit. Amen.