Our outside voice

When little kids are running around the house, we often encourage them to speak with an “inside voice”. They aren’t communicating with people half a kilometre away, a few decibels less will do the trick!

On Sunday I talked about the challenge that Mennonite Church Canada has given to all its congregations: to perform a public act for peace this year. We are being asked to find our “outside voice”. To find a voice that speaks to people who may not understand who we are, or why we do what we do.

First Mennonite is hoping to sponsor another refugee family this year, like we have in the past. In the past we’ve let our inside voice do the talking… We haven’t tried very hard to communicate to anyone outside of our own circles about what we are doing. What would an outside voice look like? How would we let people in our community know that we are sponsoring a family because we believe Jesus calls churches to care for those who are homeless or in danger?

It’s tricky…we don’t want to appear like we are blowing our own horn. “Look at us and all the good things we are doing.” Could we find a voice that expresses how many people are in need of sponsoring? A voice that expresses the love God has for people who are suffering? A voice that expresses how we are doing just a fraction of the work that needs to be done? A voice that says, even though the needs are great, helping just one family can make a difference…can you help? Would we invite the community to help us with this sponsorship?

Maybe you have other ideas about how our church could have an outside voice for peace. I’ve heard some different ideas percolating…this will be an interesting challenge. I’m eager to see what other churches around the country will be doing.

Prayer: Thank you for all the opportunities you offer us to follow you. Help us to follow you boldly, and to share the good news of your kingdom.

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