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Faith in Action at Glenn Memorial UMC

Sep 2014:

A huge success for the 252 volunteers
for Good Neighbor Day 2013 who completed
786 hours of services in ONE day.
Good Neighbor Day 2014: September 6.

At Glenn Memorial, we believe God's love for the world is an active and engaged love, a love seeking justice and liberty. As Christians, we are called to honor the commandments to “love God” and “love neighbor.” In the Gospel of Luke, when a clever lawyer responds to the latter mandate with the question, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus responds with a parable that reframes the concept to an instructive “How to be a neighbor.” The Rev. Fred Craddock points out that the intent of the lesson was to leave the lawyer with the imperative “Go and do.”

Glenn Good Neighbor Day is one of our opportunities to “go and do” those acts that help us to be the right kind of neighbor. Like Christmas and Easter, Good Neighbor Day has become one of our community’s annual traditions. Some at Glenn may even call it a Holy Day. For 20 years, the community has gathered on a Saturday in September, sending hundreds of Glenn members, young and old, out into Atlanta to demonstrate their love of God and neighbor through service to the community.

This year, on Good Neighbor Day, we will participate in 15 different service projects. Just to highlight a few of the projects: We will work at a local food pantry, volunteer at a refugee resettlement center, and host a group of children from a local shelter for a day of skating (and snacks) in our gym. Many of the activities are chosen to assist programs where the church is already in partnership. This gives members a chance to experience first-hand how our financial resources help answer the needs in our community.

But, of course we must not stop with one day. Hands-on service is woven into the very fabric of Glenn throughout the year. We recognize that each of us possesses different skills, abilities, and interests and strive to make sure there is a place, an event, or an activity for everyone to put their faith into action. We are particularly conscious to nurture this in our children and youth.

A few examples include: serving a monthly lunch to the women and children at Action Ministries’ Women’s Community Kitchen, sponsoring an annual Habitat build for a deserving family, and being an Interfaith Children’s Movement partner church. A few years ago, Glenn felt a special call to make an impact with hungry children in our community. Our Snack in a Backpack ministry is now one of the congregation’s most vital ministries. We meet every Thursday night during the school year and pack just over 200 bags for distribution to children at a local elementary school. The children, who receive free meals at school, are given supplemental food each Friday to help ward off hunger over the weekend. We also work with Action Ministries Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program to provide lunches for school children throughout the summer.

We welcome you to join us in any of these projects!

Laura Reece; Chair, Glenn Memorial Church and Society; Atlanta, GA