Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Choosing Celibacy"

So what do you think of this?

Choosing Celibacy

    ...Wesley grew up in a Southern evangelical home and family; there are no “typical” issues for his same-sex attraction; as he went through puberty he — confusingly of course — began to realize he was attracted to men and not women; he went to Wheaton; he worked as an intern in an evangelical megachurch; he is now doing a PhD in New Testament studies in the UK. He’s gay and he’s Christian and he’s celibate.

    He’s open and he’s struggling and he’s lonely and he’s accountable and he’s waiting. And his story made me empathetic with the story of those who struggle to be celibate.

    His theology is simple: he’s been washed pure in the graces of God’s forgiveness and he’s waiting for the restoration of all things. In between forgiveness and restoration he struggles.

Are churches open to this kind of thing? Are WE open to it? Or would there be an innate "fear" about it? It seems like such a simple (and Biblical) concept at first, but the topic seems to evoke a lot of issues and passions in people. Are our churches able to have a true, open discussion on the concept of sex, celibacy, and homosexuality?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

'Tis the Season for Politickin'

Question: Can Christians be elected to high-level political office without sacrificing some of their "Christianness"?

Could someone actually be elected, and still maintain the character of Jesus?

SHOULD Christians even try to make it in big-time American politics?

I'll await your answers and your discussion, but I'm starting to think the answer is, at least for the first two questions, "No." Which leads me to ask the third question.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Following Jesus in the real world

Apologies for the lengthy delay between posts here at unChurch, unInc. One unchurch writer has been in Romania, showing the kingdom of God to assorted friends.

Me? I have no excuse, other than the busy-ness of life, and a lack of writing inspiration.

Time to get back on the writing track. We'll start simple, by stealing something from someone else: My good friend Kevin recently posted a great link on Facebook that I thought was worth sharing.

Can We Follow Jesus Without Being Dramatically Countercultural?

This article caught my attention because the writer talks about college students who get fired up about Jesus in campus ministry (specifically, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, which is the group I was a part of in college), but then graduate and go on to adulthood "church stasis."
    "...all these students who'd get fired up about Jesus in an InterVarsity group, but then, after graduating, would see their faith fizzle in some respects. They'd go to churches that, in short order, they'd complain about. They wouldn't overtly leave Jesus behind, by any means. Nor, in many cases, would they leave the church they complained so bitterly about. They'd just stay in this stasis for a long, long time--no longer excited about faith, no longer about anything particularly helpful for God's kingdom, just sort of frozen."
Hmm. Are you talking to me?

The decision process used by many new graduates follows this general pattern:
  • Find a job, which determines a general location in which to live
  • Find an apartment near enough to the job
  • Find a solid church near to where you live
  • Get involved in one aspect of the church you begin to attend
  • Make new friends, if possible, in your new small group or ministry team.
The article/book talks about a radically different pattern that some Christians are taking when they graduate, and it's almost the reverse:
  • They chose ministry partners, with whom they shared kingdom values and a common vision for life.
  • They chose a ministry field and a church that supported and helped them advance ministry in their field.
  • They found an apartment in a convenient location that facilitated their ministry and relationships in their church.
  • They found jobs that supported them while involved in ministry and the life of their church."
I thought this would, in particular, appeal to people like Craig, who did a pretty close version of that.

So is this possible? If so, is it something that's only for the "young and unattached"? Why do so many of us follow the first pattern, and not the second?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Members of One Another": To Know, and To Be Known, Part II

Craig sent me this via email nearly a year ago, and I had intended to make it a blog post. I obviously forgot. But now I'm posting it, and it fits in perfectly with the current discussion!

This quote from St. Basil of Caesarea (~330-379) gives a wonderful account of the value of life in a Christian community:
    We are ‘each one of us, members of one another’; but if we are not united in harmony into one close-knit body in the Holy Spirit, but each individual chooses solitude, not serving the welfare of the community in the manner well-pleasing to God, but satisfying the private desires of self-fulfillment, how, when thus separated and divided, can we preserve the mutual relation and service of the members, and their subjection to our head, that is, to Christ? For when our life is thus divided, how can we ‘rejoice with those who rejoice, or weep with those who weep’? It is scarcely possible for the individual to know what is happening to his neighbor. Then again, no man is capable of receiving all the spiritual gifts. . . In the community life, the private gifts of the individual become the common property of his fellows. . . the activity of the Holy Spirit in one man extends to all the rest at once. . . What scope will a man have for showing humility, if he has no one before whom to show himself humble? What chance of showing compassion, when cut off from fellowship with others? How practice patience, when there is none to oppose his wishes? . . . The Lord washed the disciples’ feet; whose feet will you wash? Who will you look after? . . . When brethren live together in community, then there is a stadium for athletic exercise, a method for development, a combined course of training and practice in the Lord’s commands. And its object is the glory of God. . .

    - From Regulae Fusius (‘Long Rules’)

St. Basil here is actually contrasting a monastic community life with a life of solitary monasticism, which was common in the fourth century, when he wrote this. But his main thesis is freshly relevant today, in our hyper-individualistic society (when you think of it, ‘hyper-individualistic society’ is really pretty oxymoronic, isn’t it?).

American Christians of the 21st century strongly tend to conceive of the Christian life in individualistic terms – me and my relationship with Jesus – but Basil makes some very sharp points about the limitations of an individualistic Christian life, and the corresponding value of some kind of community life together with fellow-Christians.

-Submitted by Craig

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

To Know, and To Be Known

Is Christianity more like golf, where you've got one guy trying to get the ball in the hole? Or is it something like basketball, where you've got a group trying to achieve something? Is Christianity really a team sport?

I've heard it said that many Protestants often represent the "individualism" aspect of Christianity. In other words, decades of evangelical churches have perhaps pushed a "me-and-God" mindset where it's all about your straight-line, vertical relationship to the Lord. This is often best illustrated by the communion time, where hundreds of church-goers will each bow their individual heads, each will go into "the zone" and each will think about his or her relationship to God. The only "communion" is between you and God.

Our lives have evolved this direction. We drive ourselves (who really carpools anymore?) to our jobs in our individual cubicles, so we can move our families to the suburbs, where we can have our own space. Space for our families, space for our stuff, space so we don't feel like we are living in a hut with five other families.

The global population has expanded tremendously in the past century, yet middle class America wants more and more space of their own. The average home size has more than DOUBLED since the 1950s. It was 2,330 square feet in 2004, yet even just thirty years ago it was 1,400 square feet. A few decades back, it was normal for a family to just have one bathroom, and for multiple children to share bedrooms. Now? I just finally moved into a home where my 8-year old and my 7-year old no longer have to share a bedroom, and it felt like a sigh of relief -- finally, breathing room!

Of course, back in Jesus' day, very few had that kind of privacy. Most homes and huts were tiny. Whole families shared a room. Domiciles were stacked against each other. Walls were shared. I read once that after a wedding ceremony, what we'd call the "best man" would wait just outside the "bedroom," waiting for the bride and groom to consummate the marriage, so he could announce it to the rest of the party and they could celebrate. Wouldn't THAT make you nervous?! Talk about performance anxiety.

When Jesus broke the bread and poured the wine around the table with his disciples, it was a group activity. They were sharing a meal. They were sharing their lives together. They knew each other intimately, because they lived more intimate lives. They shared both a campfire, and a love for the Lord.

Today, I have trouble even finding a reason to go talk to my neighbors. I don't need a cup of sugar or a saucepan from them. They sure don't need anything from me. A polite waive while we're mowing the grass is pretty much the extent of our "relationship."

A lot has changed in the last 2000 years. But that doesn't mean we aren't still "built for intimate relationships." Try to go a bit old-school in your friendships. Get nosy with some of your friends and acquaintances. Find out about their lives, and ask some probing and loving questions. See how you can help. Get cramped and intimate with some of your friends and family.

Loving each other means building each other up when the time is right, and holding each other accountable for our actions when it's needed. But you've got to make the effort and spend that time around the campfire, around that table in the upper room, if you are going to "have all things in common." Our living spaces may have changed, but what God wants from us as followers of Jesus has not.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

So...what exactly IS a "gospel"?

When I was 20, I became intensely interested in Jesus. I began to read the bible, and immediately I ran into Jesus saying "Repent and believe the gospel! The kingdom of God is at hand."  Just then it struck me...if the "gospel" did not exist before Jesus, then why was there even a word "gospel"? And how could any of the people standing by understand what Jesus meant by "gospel"? Obviously it is important...but is it some sort of secret code word?
So this is the question of the day: What is a "gospel", and most important, what is "The Gospel"? Okay, unChurch-heads! Have at it!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Only in America!

Happy USA Independence Day, all ye beloved! Watch this !!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And He Saith Unto Them... Don't Be a Jerk

In churchdom, the Big Sins are the obvious ones. Adultery will get you fired from that preaching job. A drug problem will get you removed from the worship ministry. Wearing a itsy-bitsy bikini at the church picnic may earn you a serious "talking-to" from the leadership.

But what about being a jerk? Do we let that slide?

Granted, it's hard to quantify. And when it comes to how we act ONLINE, it's often a little bit more hidden from the world. Blogs and comment boards are ready-made for flame wars of epic proportions.

Jonathan Acuff (of "Stuff Christians Like") wrote an excellent article on "Why Christians are jerks online." It's worth reading, contemplating, and discussing.

It talks about what Jesus said was the greatest commandment. It talks about beer and Bono and the bitterness of so many Christian arguments online.
    Loving your neighbor might be simple, but it’s not easy. Maybe my neighbor is a jerk too. Maybe they hate God. Maybe they are actively and violently opposed to everything I believe. And showing them grace feels impossible. So instead of dealing with that, we get online and police people. We find small things to focus on that will distract us.

    Jesus came for the mess-ups like us. Jesus came for the failures. Jesus came for the jerks. (That’s not in the King James version of the Bible, I remixed it like Timbaland.) And the truth is, grace is the antidote to being a jerk online.

How about you? Have you been displaying the grace and love of Jesus in what you type to random strangers? Why do Christians often look so bad online?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wild-Eyed Radicals?

Are the unChurch folks a bunch of wild eyed radicals? What if they were? What would that look like? A few words from our buddy, Francis Chan...good words, but they leave me asking these very questions.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Naked Saints

This song was sent to me by a "sex worker" who found salvation while on the job. She told me "This is my special song, the song God gave me." She did not even know, until I told her, that the lyrics are Jesus words, from Evangheliei Marcu, 8:36. I explained, and she was overjoyed, that her heart had recognized the voice of Jesus, even in a foreign language.

Some church-people believe sinners don't like Jesus...well, they either do not know the world, or they do not know Jesus. I'm glad this pop band is preaching Jesus' parable afresh, to people the church sometimes overlooks. The video is profound.

(The group is called "MorCheeba" which roughly translates as "The Cannabis Way." They have some very cool stuff.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

God's Chosen People?

"...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)

You no doubt have, for years, heard that we should be praying for this great country of ours. That we should be asking for God's blessing on America, because God wants to heal our land. We, as a country, have gone against God's law by taking prayer out of schools, and that we need to bring this country back to God.

And you've no doubt heard that verse up there at the top, thrown right into the middle of it all.

Can I just say that we're going about this all wrong? Is it okay for me to say that?

If we want to use a passage like 2 Chronicles 7 (or the whole book of Jeremiah, or Malachi 3, or whatever scripture we choose), I think it's worth our time to delve at least deep enough to see who was being spoken to, and what the words mean within the passage. In fact, let's get simple, and just look at the phrase "my people."

God was speaking to the Jews, the people of Israel, the people of his covenant. (Specifically in this case, he was speaking to King Solomon.) Most of us also agree that because of Jesus' life and death, his followers have been "grafted in," and we now fall under the category of "God's people." Christians. The ekklesia, the church.

However, I can find no scriptural basis -- literal, figurative, anything -- that could somehow bring "America" into the picture. "My people" is not referring to America. "Their land" is not referring to America. How can we use this scripture when talking about "taking America back for God"?

Extrapolating this scripture to the "us" of present-day could only make it refer to the CHURCH, not to America. Let's try it this way:

"...if my church, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their church."

God is more concerned about his own people than he is about earthly geographic empires and lines on a map. HIS kingdom is our kingdom. "Our land" is the kingdom we share with our brothers and sisters in Iran and China and France. We, the people of God, need to be humbling ourselves and seeking Him. Maybe we need to make sure the church is turned back to God?

Don't let your flags become fused together. Don't let your sword become intertwined with your cross. Remember whose kingdom you are a part of. A kingdom where we humble ourselves, and pray and seek God's face.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"When He Heard This, He Became Very Sad, Because He Was a Man of Great Wealth"

Those that know me are probably aware that I think "Christian" often makes a poor adjective. We are to BE Christians, yes. But putting a Christian label on music or books or artwork or various other things is, let's just say, less than ideal.

However, as followers of Jesus, as CHRISTIANS, we are to exemplify love, service, and self-sacrifice. So in a capitalistic society, how well can "Christian" work as an adjective to go along with "Business"?

Go read the article. Then come back here and leave your thoughts. I'm not going to make some strong point here, I'm just going to see where the discussion goes...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In Essentials, Unity; in Non-essentials...

Do we value all things that glorify God? Do we look at the "big picture" of what God's church truly is? Do we love and serve our brothers and sisters when we come together in times of corporate worship?

Or do we often use it as an opportunity to let trivial matters divide us?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Porn for Tots

Whatever you may think about porn, one thing is undeniable: The genie is out of the bottle. Kids growing up today get their first and most powerful early impressions about sex from internet porn. What will this mean for them in real life? Is this the end of the world as we knew it? Or are people overreacting?

Please click here to read this excellent article by Joe Beam. (Not to be confused with Joe B.)

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Plain as the Nose on Your Face

This is truly fascinating. And boy-oh-boy does it make a point. Pay close attention!!

Who's telling you what to see?

"Unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."


Monday, February 22, 2010

Badges? We Don't Need no Stinking Badges!

What is wrong with Christianity? Well for starters, it has relatively little to do with Jesus Christ. Oddly, Reformed Judaism seems closer to Jesus' teachings than much of what we call "Christianity."

What follows is my arcane religious argument that Jesus called men to reject Law and choose Life. It is written by a bible-head, for bible-heads. But if you are a spiritual seeker, a secular doubter, or a religious head-scratcher, hang in here. If you can be flexible with the strange vocabulary, you just might enjoy the discussion.

This is my thesis, and here I shall nail it to the door of the Wittenblog Cathedral:

I will write the things below because I know they are our common ground. Where we disagree is on our conclusions. Please read closely and with a bible open. The Law is not for sons of God, period. That’s my conclusion.

“Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the Law, locked up until faith should be revealed. Therefore the Law was made a tutor unto Christ, so that by faith we become righteous. But now that faith is come, we are no longer under tutelage. You are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

Yes, of course, "The Law" still exists, and it is holy. And it stands in the midst of this garden of human experience just like the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil stood beside the Tree of Life. From one we receive the free gift of Life from our Maker and Savior, but from the other we receive Death slow and certain. For we are commanded, “Thou shalt not eat from it, lest ye die.”

In exactly this way, the Law IS holy, but to live by it is sin. Thus it “produces death in me through what is good.” [Ro 7:13] To live by the Law, even partially, is to reject Grace. Notice that Adam did not curse the Tree of Life, nor chop it down, nor burn it up. All he did was eat from it. He just ate a little, and apparently he swallowed the seeds. One brush with the Law was all it took to bring utter condemnation to Adam and to all his descendants for all time. But, thanks to God, “the gift is not like the trespass, but through a single act of righteousness it brings life for all men.” [Ro 4]. St. Paul warned us explicitly not to let Grace and Law coexist in out lives. Rather he likens the Law to a mocking house slave: “Cast out the bondwoman and her son”! [Gal 4:30]

Let me anticipate the next objection. The conventional view of this matter says that this passage in Galatians is speaking of the “Jewish Law & Religion” in particular, and specifically circumcision as a qualification for salvation. Granted, Paul does address this as the topic of concern in Galatia. However, to limit his broad characterizations of Law in this way is just absolutely wrong.

In fact, Paul parallels the Law (taking circumcision, in this case) precisely with the paganism the Galatians (who were Gallic, not Jewish) had turned from when they heard the Gospel. “When you did not know God, you were slaves to things that are no gods. But now that you know God--rather, are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wished to be enslaved to them all over again?” [Gal 4:8-9.] It is untenable to say that Paul limited his concept of “the Law” to Jewish ceremonial ordinance, or circumcision. We will do well to remember that this is the same St Paul who had his companion be circumcised before entering the Jewish temple.

We could make this entire “Galatians” argument from Romans 1-8, or from the Sermon on the Mount, or from Mark 2, or from 2 Corinthians 3, or from Colossians 2. There is no subject with so much ink devoted to it as this matter of ditching the law and walking in the Spirit, by faith. It is utterly false when we say that we are saved by Jesus, but live by the law; that we are saved by grace but live under law, or that we walk by the spirit within the boundaries of Law.

How can we blur these things together when the bible contrasts them so violently? Yet we blur the curse that binds us until it's indistinguishable from the grace that frees us, as though it were just two different ways of saying the same thing. It is not.

Finally there is a gross misconception that somehow the Law helps you live a life pleasing to God, and that to throw off its restraint is to succumb to evil. But the scripture clearly says that "the Law was given that sin might increase", and that it "produces all kinds of evil desires" within. Living by Law does not help you walk straight, it guarantees failure.

I am astonished at how Christians cling misty-eyed to Law, despite and against all the stark biblical admonitions. Yet in the mainstream, “being a Christian" demands men be devoted to the very curse from which Jesus died to redeem us [Gal 3:13].

We are not under the Law, we are under grace! We do not live by the Law, we live by the Spirit! We do not follow the Law, we are led by the Spirit.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Power of What You Buy

How do we promote justice and the love of Christ with our spending power? We say that we want to bring "heaven to earth" with the peace and equality that Jesus brings, but how can we even do that in our daily lives here in suburban U.S. of A?

Is it a matter of trying to live more simply? Is it a matter of taking a bit more time to think about what we are buying? My friend Alice lives in Boston, and she has been giving it some thought:
    Tim & I are thinking through some radical lifestyle changes. I will do my best to share our developing thoughts/changes as they unfold.

    we are beating our swords into plowshares. today we simplified to be a one laptop family & we used some of the money from the sale of my old laptop to buy socks (hundreds of pairs) for various agencies serving homeless youth around the country. [** FYI, you can get some great wholesale deals on Ebay. We got socks for about $0.70/pair!]

    we are starting to write down everything we buy & investigate where it comes from. we currently don't make many frivolous purchases, but even so, we are slowing down and thinking about what we are buying. some purchases are obviously better than others, such as fair trade coffee or cage-free eggs or local'ish milk... but what about dog food? guitar strings? computer parts? how do we promote justice with our spending power? where do all our "essential" things come from? how can our daily purchases further a just global economy and let us buy with a clean conscious? every dollar we spend supports someone, somewhere. What are our purchases supporting? Justice? Equality? Fairness? Peace? Or is it creating a bigger divide between rich and poor?

    of course, how does spending more $ for such items balance with living simply and sharing lives with our less-resourced friends, some of whom are homeless?

    we have ruled out selling our house in favor of living in a bus or a tent, because we are confident God has called us to a life of hospitality (which involves having a home).

    we have also decided the dogs are currently essential. :)

    It must be noted: without love, a passion for justice can fashion a demagogue and a brute. 'Love takes no pleasure in other's sins, but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure what comes.' 1 Corinthians 13:6.

Alice and her husband are still in the process of figuring out practical, everyday ways to live out Jesus' radical message. In the past couple of years, I've often felt that we are completely removed from the origins of the goods that we buy -- our food, our drink, our DVDs, everything. And I have a desire to instill in my children a knowledge and understanding of love and justice, and how it relates to the things that we buy (and how those items are created).

So what do you think, kindly blog-readers? A great idea? Too much work? Off the mark? Let us (and Alice) know your thoughts.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

People of the Wind: Parable of the Kite

Years ago as a minister, I used the "parable of the kite" to preach that boundaries and rules may seem to imprison you, but in fact they set you free. I likened this to a kite: without a string to restrain it, it cannot fly. What a great proposition: Prohibition = Freedom! My parable captured a certain undeniable truth, and it became a signature theme in my ministry. It makes great preaching because people who like sermons also happen to like rules, even the rules they like to break.

Too bad, my parable was basically wrong.

Like my convenient parable, most of the teachings of the devout church follow this basic assumption. The vast majority of teaching follows the pattern: If you live according to the rules, you'll be okay. But I have come to believe that this paradigm, and even my beautiful kite metaphor, is actually contrary to Christ. In fact, while it perfectly captures the essence of Law-Religion, it is the antithesis of the life of the spirit, which is the heart of the Christian message. It is not a false religion exactly, but it is positively not the faith of Jesus and the apostles.

No wonder St Paul calls this arrangement "the Law of sin and death." Not only so, he also says that the rules by which we strive to live actually make matters worse because our sinful nature, "taking opportunity by the commandment, produces [in us] all manner of evil desire. Apart from the law sin was dead." [Ro 7:8]. And he urges us "Now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code."

In other words, my parable of the kite is perfect...for those living under the law of sin and death. But for those freed by the blood of Jesus, it is a return to the Law. And agains St Paul is witheringly clear, "you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace" [Gal 5:4]. But, thank God, "if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." [Gal 5:18]

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Empire Builders vs the Love of Christ

Can you imagine giving the eulogy at a funeral and starting out by saying “before I tell you about God’s grace, let me make it clear that little Johnny deserved to die because he stole candy from a store”?

My old friend Izzy is always posting some great links to stuff he finds on the web. Today, he pointed out Donald Miller's response to some ridiculous things that Pat Robertson recently said. The short version is this: With the death toll into the tens of thousands after the earthquake in Haiti, Pat Robertson managed to say that Haiti was "cursed" after an old "pact with the devil."

Sadly, a number of people might be under the impression that talking heads like Pat Robertson represent the feelings of most Christians (or even the feelings of most conservatives). Most Christians, however, think the idea is absurd that their feelings might be represented by people like Pat Robertson.

One problem with our 24/7 media-and-Internet driven society is that to stand out as a "leader" (or megapastor or author or CNN talking head), you've got to occasionally say some ridiculous things just to get in the headlines. Everything has to be extreme in one direction. Like, for instance, blaming the devastation in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina on the debauchery that took place in that town.

From Miller's blog post:
    "These people are often, themselves, controlling. They are wired to build empires, and in order to build empires you have to get people to do what you say, and if you have God standing behind you threatening hurt and pain, you can motivate people. I’ve heard pastors pray and call other men cowards, get angry from the pulpit, yell, belittle other Christian pastors who don’t agree with them, fire people who will not submit to them, surround themselves with yes men and so on. Sadly, they never point the finger at themselves."
But this isn't how God's empire operates. God's empire is about compassion, service, and loving your enemy. It's about feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and inviting the stranger into your home. It's about following the example of Jesus -- who was willing to lay down his life. (And who also only seemed to raise his voice at the religious leaders of his day.)

I can only imagine that it's hard to be a famed "church leader" in this day and age. This isn't about Pat Robertson. We've got thousands of Christian leaders, from the megapastors and authors down to the guys leading small Midwestern churches. If you have the kind of charisma and drive it takes to get lots of people to follow you, it's quite possible you also have the pride and controlling personality that seems to often go along with it.

This new empire, the Kingdom of God, isn't built on the backs of millionaire authors and pastors in three-piece suits. It's a power-under kingdom, a kingdom that thrives when we love each other as Jesus loved, and serve the people that have no one to look after them.

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in."