Tuesday & Wednesday …

Tuesday evening (June 12) we begin a new supplemental worship service at Faith at 7:30 p.m.   It’s a 30 to 45 service in which we’ll engage the coming Sunday’s gospel lesson (Mark 4:26-34) in a conversational way, pray for the community and individuals, and share in Holy Communion — in the chapel at Faith.  Check it out.  No experience necessary.  Bring a friend.

And Wednesday (June 13) … it’s Faith Talk @ Sullivan’s at 7 p.m.  Let’s give some thought to service.  I was intrigued a week or so ago by two stories that appeared in The Plain Dealer:  one was about a new, more Gospel-focused curriculum in Catholic schools.  A link is here.  The story included this passage about Cleveland Diocese Superintendent of Schools Margaret Lyons’ explanation of the change:

Religion instruction, she said, became strong in social justice teachings (beginning in the 1960s), but weak in the “mystical and mystery aspect.”

“Religion is also the relationship between a person and the Creator,” said Lyons. “And you have to grow your relationship and your faith. Faith doesn’t tend to itself.”

Two days later, the PD ran this story about a new campaign by the United Church of Christ to boost good works for the community.  A link is here.

These stories got me thinking about why we do the “good works” that we do — things like the Community Meal and Clothing Closet at Faith and the Project More reading tutoring we do at Hayes Elementary School.  And, on a broader scale, the vast efforts of Lutheran Services in America (link here), the largest non-profit social service agency in the country — bigger than Catholic Charities or the Red Cross.  And in Cleveland, the work of Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry here in Cleveland (link here).

So … what’s the connection between the gospel and doing good in the community?  Is there one?  Should there be?