March 1, 2020
Every year, the first Sunday in Lent is designated “Wear your blue T-shirt to church Sunday” as a testament of one of the ways that One Great Hour of Sharing makes a difference.
King David sang, “You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy …” (Psalm 30:11).
Thousands of volunteers each year (7,354in 2019, to be exact) put on a blue T-shirt that reads, “Out of chaos, hope.” The volunteers bring not only ladders and drywall for rebuilding, but also the love of God. Many disaster survivors who see the love of God evident in the lives of these servants are able to take off their cloak of mourning and begin to find joy.
“I think the blue shirt means different things to different people. I think to survivors of disaster, I think they see the blue shirts as a symbol of hope,” said Gail Farnham, a member of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) National Response Team.
Many congregations have not had an opportunity to “earn” PDA T-shirts through volunteer work team efforts but are supporting the ministry of PDA through financial gifts, actions and prayers. You are standing in the GAP (Give, Act, Pray) for disaster survivors. Therefore, PDA urges all congregations to participate in a “blue-out.”
Alan Ford, a volunteer disaster response coordinator for Mission Presbytery in Texas, said that PDA helped after the wildfires of 2011 and all of the disasters that have affected the presbytery since then, including various floods and windstorms and Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Ford said, “Our modest One Great Hour of Sharing gifts have been returned to us many times over. Many thanks and blessings, PDA!”
Watch the short video “The Blue Shirt Ministry” at vimeo.com/136849742.
Learn more about PDA at pcusa.org/pda.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 1, 2020, the First Sunday in Lent (Year A)
Today’s Focus: PDA Blue T-Shirt Sunday
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
O God, help us to be repairers of the breach, offering hope out of chaos, clothed in joy. Fill us with great faith, so that we may tell the good news of your saving love; through Jesus Christ, our hope in the storm. Amen.