Daily Devotions
 

Hello Good Shepherd!

During the first two weeks in June, our Daily Devotions will be lifting up stories from our God’s Grace Your Hands event held on September 8, 2019.  On that day we gave every household in attendance at worship a check for either $100, $250 or $500, sealed in an envelope.  The “Pay To The Order Of” line on the check was left blank so the recipients could gift the check to whomever they would like.   Our instructions were simple, “Go and share God’s blessings with the world.”  Here are just a few of the stories of what folks did with the check they received, may the stir up your own desire to find Joy in Generosity.

Peace,

Pastor Heidi Johns

Event date: 5/15/2020 Export event
Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion

As we continue our month long theme of Joyful Generosity here is a story shared by Kristin Kalsem regarding what she did when she received a check on God’s Grace Your Hands Sunday last September:

Safe and Supported is a program of Lighthouse Youth and Family Services that provides services for and helps place young people who have become homeless when they told their families that they were lgbtq (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer). More than twenty-five percent of lgbtq youth are “kicked out when they come out.”

The director of Safe and Supported was very moved when I explained what Good Shepherd was doing with God’s Work Our Hands. She said the check was coming at the perfect time because all donations are being matched through the end of the year. I am matching the $500 check from Good Shepherd so Safe and Supported will be receiving a $2,000 gift as a result of our church’s generosity. This money will support the mission of Safe and Supported which is: “working to ensure every lgbtq young person has the opportunity to thrive through a safe, permanent, and nurturing home.” It does this not only through its program which arranges host homes for those who have been turned out of their own homes, but also its “faith in family” initiative which works to keep lgbtq youth safe, healthy, and supported within their own families.

I first learned about Safe and Supported from one of my law students at the University of Cincinnati College of Law who experienced rejection from her own family when she came out as a lesbian. She volunteered her time to advance the work of Safe and Supported because she understood and wanted to help others who found themselves vulnerable physically, emotionally, and spiritually. She lives in California now and when I reached out to her to let her know about this donation she was thrilled and commented, “your church sounds pretty awesome.”

I work with so many lgbtq students in my capacity as a professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and a co-director of the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice. My hope is that Good Shepherd, along with the many other churches who support organizations like Safe and Supported, will help to counter the message that many in the lgbtq community hear—that they have been abandoned by God. I want us to be “awesome” and send an unconditional message of love, acceptance, and inclusion.

I John 4:10-11 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 

Reflection: what gets in the way of our ability to love all people as God loves them?  How is God calling you to grow in your ability to love all people and to offer grace?

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