Helping those in crisis overcome formidable obstacles

Turn on the news or drive around the outskirts of our cities and towns and you will find what Jesus called “the least of these.” Those living in the margins of society, struggling to survive. People like:

* An immigrant teenager in Texas’ poorest county, being recruited by a local gang

* A father struggling for sobriety in Little Rock, Arkansas

* An Oklahoma woman recently released from incarceration looking for work

Over and over Jesus served people like this, embracing them. And that’s what we want to model as the people of The United Methodist Church. To continue the ministry of Jesus we established Human Relations Day as a Special Sunday that calls all of our churches to participate in helping all God’s children to realize their potential.

As a member of The United Methodist Church, our gifts, on this day, January 18th, allow the work of folks like Bruce and Becky Ballou to build relationships with those teens in Texas. Our gift allows Montey Payne to lead recovering addicts towards healing. And our gift helps Rev. Steve Burr find work for ex-offenders.

This work, and hundreds of other ministries, are possible because we give.

Will you continue to support Human Relations Day? Will you continue nurturing at-risk youth, strengthening communities’ self-improvement efforts and advocating for the oppressed?

Rev. I Maliik Safir, whose church works with those gripped by addiction in Little Rock, sums up the work of Human Relations Day by recalling Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan: “to meet the poor, the disadvantaged and the under-served at the places where others have robbed them and help them to recover from the wounds of social inequality.”

Special offering envelopes will be included in the bulletin on January 18th. Please give generously!