Tuesday evening (June 12) we begin a new supplemental worship service at Faith at 7:30 p.m. It’s a 30 to 45 service in which we’ll engage the coming Sunday’s gospel lesson (Mark 4:26-34) in a conversational way, pray for the community and individuals, and share in Holy Communion — in the chapel at Faith. Check it out. No experience necessary. Bring a friend.
And Wednesday (June 13) … it’s Faith Talk @ Sullivan’s at 7 p.m. Let’s give some thought to service. I was intrigued a week or so ago by two stories that appeared in The Plain Dealer: one was about a new, more Gospel-focused curriculum in Catholic schools. A link is here. The story included this passage about Cleveland Diocese Superintendent of Schools Margaret Lyons’ explanation of the change:
Religion instruction, she said, became strong in social justice teachings (beginning in the 1960s), but weak in the “mystical and mystery aspect.”
“Religion is also the relationship between a person and the Creator,” said Lyons. “And you have to grow your relationship and your faith. Faith doesn’t tend to itself.”
Two days later, the PD ran this story about a new campaign by the United Church of Christ to boost good works for the community. A link is here.
These stories got me thinking about why we do the “good works” that we do — things like the Community Meal and Clothing Closet at Faith and the Project More reading tutoring we do at Hayes Elementary School. And, on a broader scale, the vast efforts of Lutheran Services in America (link here), the largest non-profit social service agency in the country — bigger than Catholic Charities or the Red Cross. And in Cleveland, the work of Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry here in Cleveland (link here).
So … what’s the connection between the gospel and doing good in the community? Is there one? Should there be?