Hello and welcome back to the Living Water newsletter!
Why are people going hungry when we are producing more than enough food for everyone (plus 1.5 billion cows)? How can there be both homeless people and billionaire real estate investors? And why are some people suffering and dying from afflictions other people don’t believe exist? These are some questions that can pop into our heads as we casually browse world news, visit downtown GR, or scroll through Twitter.
When we see so may bad things happening in the world, we can get discouraged about our own powerlessness, or even feel a bit self-righteous comparing ourselves to the people in charge. If you are prone to responding this way, it might be useful to practice these steps when you come across something that disturbs your peace of mind:
Let yourself be sad or angry about what you are seeing.
Pray expressing your frustration, pray for relief and healing for the people impacted by whatever the thing is, and pray for wisdom for the people who may be responsible for it and/or have the power to make change.
Pray also for the well-being of people who might believe differently than you do about that particular thing, and for better insight into the situation for yourself.
Make sure you’ve got the facts straight.
4. Pray again
Pray for wisdom and discernment, and for guidance as to what you can do going forward. Try finding someone to pray with.
Take time to think about the issue; journal about it or talk to a friend about it. Write or sign a petition, call a representative, vote. Find out if you can help out in a local organization. Find out if someone near you needs help. If you are called to, gather some people together for a movement of your own.
You are just one person, and you can’t change everything on your own even if you didn’t have other things to do in your life. You can trust God to do the big picture work; just do what you can in the meantime.
Sermon Sneak Peek
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
— James 1:27
Last week we learned about the importance of making justice and mercy a priority in our worship. But what does it really mean to do justice?
Read: James 1:19-27
Meet Jason Stansbury
We are honored to welcome Jason Stansbury into the leadership team at Living Water. We asked him to give us a short bio so we can all get to know who he is and what he is passionate about. Here it is:
“Hi Y’all! As the chair of the Diaconal Ministry Team, I am the newest member of Living Water CRC’s Leadership Team, and Leadership asked that I introduce myself. I grew up in Atlanta (Georgia), studied Economics in college at the University of Michigan, worked for four years in Detroit as a management consultant, earned a PhD in Organization Studies at Vanderbilt, and came to Calvin to teach business ethics in 2008. I am glad that God has called me to work as a professor at Calvin, because I get to tell my students what I wish someone would have told me! I’m also glad that God called me to Calvin, because I fell in love with a colleague, and am now married to Professor Marilyn Stansbury.
My role at Living Water is to organize the work of the Diaconal Ministry team, which appeals to me because I have seen in my own life that God is at work in and through His people. God is pouring out His grace and His Holy Spirit on each of us to empower us to live at peace . . . with Him, ourselves, each other, and others . . . even as He prepares opportunities for us to be peacemakers, and invite others into that peace. The Diaconal Ministry encourages and equips people to respond to that grace and to the calling of the Holy Spirit, whether by accepting help, or by providing it. I am looking forward to cooperating with y’all in that work!”
Speaking of the Diaconal Ministry…
If anyone in the church is falling behind on their bills because of the current economic disruption, don’t hesitate to ask for support from the Diaconal Ministry!
Simply take a photo of your bill and attach it to a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure that the image shows the amount and number of days overdue, as well as the contact info and account number of the recipient of payment.
The Diaconal Ministry Team will then evaluate the requests, and as appropriate may contact service providers or pay some overdue bills directly on behalf of Living Water people.
We are also working on creating a system to support our brothers and sisters in Christ by sharing transportation and other resources. If you have any needs, questions, or ideas, feel free to reach out to the Diaconal Ministry as well!
- Friday, July 24 4:00pm: LWYG Bible Study
- Sunday, July 26 10:00am: Sunday Worship
- Sunday 2:00pm: Children’s Ministry (Sermon Review)
- Sunday 6:00pm: College Bible Study
- Monday, July 27 10:00am: Children’s Ministry (Old Testament Panorama)
- Wednesday, July 29 2:00pm: Women’s Bible Study
- Wednesday 6:30pm: Overflow Gathering
- Thursday, July 30 7:00pm: Prayer Meeting
All meetings will be held on Zoom. Click on the links to join or visit https://livingwatercrc.org/events/!
Living Water continues to seek people to serve in leadership. The following are in need of volunteers:
- Welcoming Ministry
- Outreach Ministry
- College Small Group Leaders for the Fall
Please contact a leader if you feel called to step up!
Online Office Hours with Pastor David
Whether you are a student, regular attendee, visitor, or interested in joining the Living Water family, Pastor David would love to get to know you! If you would like to meet up with him, you can contact him at email@example.com to set up a virtual meeting.
Some Things to Pray About This Week
- Praise for the ongoing work behind the scenes by the faithful people of our church.
- For internal peace in the midst of external chaos
- For wisdom and strength for the leaders of our church
- For justice and healing for those hurt by discriminatory practices of law enforcement in the US
- For the softening of hearts and opening of ears of authority figures
- For those struggling with finances
- For the healing of the sick
- For new graduates transitioning to a new stage of life
- For international students facing so much uncertainty
- For the College, Youth, and Children’s Ministries
- For the flourishing of the new Diaconal Ministry
- For the world to seek God’s face and ask for forgiveness and healing
We encourage each of you to come to Living Water’s weekly Zoom prayer meeting on Thursday nights at 7pm!
See you all Sunday.