In case anyone hasn't yet seen the short films on LA's Skid Row at goodmagazine.com, then here you go. They are moving. I'll paste the first one for you right here to get your started.
I wonder why my church is not better at responding to the needs of the homeless as a unified body. One theory I have is that so many of our members are justice workers by vocation each day of the week. Large numbers of them work tirelessly in the non-profit sectors, or in public classrooms, or in a larger/foreign mission field, and even in the court rooms defending the public individuals society longs to condemn. In this way, by the time everyone gathers enough energy to begin yet another grueling week of the "Lord's work," many arrive on Sunday mornings weary and even exasperated at times. Our church feels tired to me in general these days. The energy seems more focused on surviving this transition and individuals more so on surviving their jobs. It does not leave much time or enthusiasm for small (or large) ways that we can respond to the conditions of the poor in LA or Pasadena as a group.
Personally, I wonder what my position is in all of this--this fatigue, this call to fight for justice both individually and collectively, and the issue I have with our church not serving well together. I am certainly not doing anything to rectify it or offering any solutions of group service opps. I feel this burn that we need to get our asses out there as a church, together as people of God serving Jesus and therefore blessing the world, but where to begin? It's a daunting question, especially after watching films like the ones on Skid Row. This is why I am convinced this must happen through the church, and more at hand, through our church.
This Sunday I'm leading a few elements of worship in the service and one of them is the congregational prayer--one of my favorite parts with which to help. This is going to be one of the things I pray about. That we might find ways to serve God (read: the world) as a whole body, each using our own gifts to glorify the other, and in turn, honoring God. Isn't that what it's all about. Sort of like my community question below--why are we not very good at this sometimes if it's what we are created to do?