Churches in the North District have been busy ‘being the Church’ outside the walls for several months. Feeding the hungry, checking on others, shopping for those who can’t, and cleaning out our spaces to donate to charities who support our communities.
A few weeks ago Desert Spring UMC was called on to be the Church to a group of hurting people. “News of two teen boys killed in a dirt bike accident right next to the church on Friday night was sad and shocking. There really are no words at a time like that. As it turns out, we don’t need words. The church speaks in love by speaking in action.” shares Julie Hart, Youth Director at Desert Spring. Within hours the boys’ friends had planned a vigil to honor them but wanted a safe place to hold it. The staff and members of Desert Spring were contacted by a friend of the family, and the heart of the congregation was set in motion. The vigil could be held in the safe outdoor space of the church, away from and out of the sight of the accident location which held so much pain. Church members showed up to help arrange for sound, provide beautiful music, prepare candles, and lovingly listen and hold the space for those who grieved. These families and friends were certainly strangers in our midst … but angels on so many levels. Those who assembled, including law enforcement, shared appreciation for the care and grace extended to the gathered community. There were no words which could erase the pain of the previous day’s accident but the actions of our church touched their hearts. Many will hold the memories of that night and the love they felt for a long time.
There are many in our communities hurting. How can each of us look around and find places to help, to extend care and love to those who
are in pain?