LeRoy Collins Commentary 90

Commentary #90
21 September 2007

Christian Outreach in the Modern World

I have been asked to comment on outreach, from the perspective of a senior citizen, whose roots in this Church go deep.

Last week I asked my fellow outreach speaker for this occasion, to help me find Biblical references to outreach. Her response was extensive, largely because so many of the Holy Scriptures inspire HER to outreach; the gamut runs through many books of the New Testament. The common denominator of these passages is Godís grace inspiring us to seek ways to help others less fortunate,...through our deeds of kindness (NOT just for members of our own parish).

Recent examples of Godís grace through outreach at our church are numerous, e.g.

1.  our annual packing of Holiday meals for a local charity, which our ancestors started many years ago;

2.  our present day program of packed lunches for the homeless during the week;

3.  we have had an active involvement in the local seamanís charity for at least half a century;

4.  we have been the venue for public concerts because our church has a long tradition of inspirational music;

5.  we have mustered teams of energetic parishioners to help build/repair schools in the Caribbean;

6.  we sent teams to Mississippi to aid recovery of Hurricane Katrina victims; and

7.  our individual conduct often provides unintended outreach by our examples of kindness to others.

All of these have elements of outreach...i.e. helping others have a fuller life...many of whom we have never seen before (and may not see again)...but we are there to help through the grace of God. Jesus came to show us how it was done, and St. Paul recorded much of Jesusí teaching so we could remember that by helping others, we derive meaning...and happiness...in our own lives.

I cannot be with you today, because starting this afternoon, I am attending a semi-annual meeting in Annapolis of bureaucrats like me, who represent their respective states in service to the 25 million Veterans of our Nation. It is a form of outreach for me to those who have answered the call of our Government to defend the United States against those who would take our freedoms away. It is very gratifying work, and I wish St. Paul was here to record the many examples of Godís grace I observe daily while helping Veterans.

So much of what I have learned about outreach came from many of YOU in this Church. I promise...that if you will volunteer to help our Church Outreach Chairman, her enthusiasm will set you afire...and change your life forever. That is much of what Christian outreach is all about. God bless you in your service to others.

/s/ LeRoy Collins, Jr.


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