In Case You Missed It

From the Financial Officer
The 2020 average monthly amount budgeted for Undesignated Donations (Anticipated) for Ministry Investment is $7,667. You donated $4,855 in June. Thank you!

You donated $40.00 to mortgage reduction in June (to be applied toward the principal balance). Since inception, a total of $89,607 has been donated to the (Happy Hearts – Hopeful Future) debt reduction campaign.

The mortgage balance was $136,455.15 as of 06.30.2020.

Entrance Doors
There have been a couple of times when someone else has come to church and one of the entrance doors has been left ajar or unlocked. It is imperative that if you are the last person to leave the building that you check to see if all the doors are locked and latched. Please allow the door to shut and then gently pull on the doors to see that they are latched. Thank you.

Update on Members Hospitalized or receiving care
Art Raney: Tom spoke with Art this past week. Art is improving and has a few more milestones to reach before he can be released from St. Mary Healthcare. He would love to get phone calls and cards/letters.

Dru Novak: Dru was recently diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. They have set up a Caring Bridge Site to keep friends and family informed. and would appreciate prayers. Michael can be contacted at 317-446-3504, but please text him first with your name and ask if it is a good time to talk (he is still working).

Message by Pastor Pokora August 2, 9th Sunday after Pentecost
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and His Son our Lord Jesus Christ.

Often we think about the feeding of the 5,000 as one of Jesus’ great miracles – maybe THE great miracle, if there were a popularity contest. (You’ve got water to wine, walking on water, a healing here and there, and this feeding of the 5,000, right?) So we wonder about how in the world Jesus could take just two fish and five loaves and stretch them to feed that many people. We marvel at all those leftovers – 12 baskets full – and the idea that if there were about 5,000 men – not including women and children – how many people Jesus really must have fed at the end of that day.

I’ve wondered before at the compassion Jesus had to muster for the crowds that afternoon, when all he really wanted was to be alone to grieve after learning that his cousin and friend, John the Baptist, had just died. It’s amazing to think about all of the people he must have healed or taught or sat down to listen to, in the midst of his grief. And I’ve always wondered what it was that he said to himself when he looked up to heaven and blessed and broke that bread, before doing what he did with it.

But the disciples were there too. And while it’s easy to wonder about all of the other stuff – to focus on the size of the crowds and the lack of food and the miracle of it all – this time around, I found myself thinking about more about the disciples.

It had been a long day and they were probably tired. “Come on Jesus. Time’s up. Let’s lose this crowd and get something to eat,” they said. “These people are probably hungry and ready to get some food for themselves anyway. Let’s get them out of here so we can do the same.”

And in the face of their questions… in response to their doubts… in spite of their laziness, whatever it may have been for them, Jesus says, “YOU give them something to eat.”

“What do you mean, ‘feed them’? Maybe you haven’t noticed, Jesus, but there’s like 5,000 of them on this hill and all we brought with us is a couple of stinky fish and a few loaves of bread.”

See, the miracle’s a good one and it makes a great story, but if we only focus on what Jesus prayed or on trying to figure out how he did what he did, or on the crowds or the fish or the bread – we’re missing the point. Just like last week’s Gospel really wasn’t about yeast or mustard seeds; and just like the week before wasn’t really about weeds, good seeds, or gardening; today isn’t really about fish or bread or a picnic on the hillside. For me, the Gospel – the Good News – in the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand is found in Jesus’ short and simple response to the disciples. “YOU give them something to eat.”

Sure the disciples are still skeptical. Yes Jesus does whatever he does to make the food go as far as it did. But, what he says and what the disciples do is even more profound and powerful if you ask me: “YOU give them something to eat.” Don’t send them away. Don’t look for a way out. Don’t hope for someone else to do it. Don’t wait for tomorrow, even. “YOU give them something to eat.”

And don’t we sound and act like the disciples too much of the time? We don’t have enough bread – whether that means time, or money; energy, willingness, or ability; faith, love, compassion, or whatever. We’re skeptical. We’re pessimistic. We’re preoccupied, distracted, lazy, uninspired, selfish, insecure, unconvinced – just like those disciples were that day. A lot of the time, if you’re anything like me, you’re just downright full of excuses.

But just like the disciples in the Gospel, Jesus gives us something greater than even our best excuses. He gives us more than just another miracle, too. He gives us something better even then bread and fish to chew on. Jesus reveals to us just what a high opinion God has – not only of the lost and lonely; the sick and needy people on that hillside that day for whom he shows so much compassion – but Jesus reveals to us what a high opinion God has of those who believe in and who want to follow him so faithfully.

What I hear Jesus saying is, “Don’t wait for someone else to do it.” “Don’t pretend you don’t have the time or the skills or the resources to do God’s bidding in the world.” “Don’t pretend you’re not qualified or capable.” “Don’t put it off for another day or time or moment when it might be more convenient for you.” “Don’t even wait for me to do it in your place.”

“YOU give them something to eat.”

Several months ago, Roger Oliver spoke to me about ways to provide food pantry families with even more than the canned, processed food we’ve been able to offer until now. Because of his heart for the idea and a passion for gardening, Roger intended a plan to grow and share fresh vegetables through the All Saints Food Pantry in the future. We, very literally, give people something more and better and good to eat, along with all the rest, thanks to Roger’s willingness to make it happen.

A month or so go I read about a woman who started a support group for people dealing with suicide.

And she made that happen. Because of a need in her own life and a need in the community, a new group meets each week. This woman is feeding a hunger and meeting a need – she’s taken it upon herself to give people something meaningful to eat.

Isn’t there some way each of us might feed someone, too? Maybe it’s that co-worker you know could use a hand or some encouragement… Maybe it’s a neighbor who’s having a hard time… Maybe it’s something around here – helping with Sunday school, sharing a meal, starting a new small group of your own this fall. Let’s not wait for someone else to do it. Let’s not pretend we aren’t capable or qualified or called, even, to respond to the needs around us. And let’s not wait for Jesus to do it all by himself.

No, let’s be amazed by the story. Let’s wonder about the miracle of Jesus. But let’s think about our mission here, too – as a congregation and as individual followers of Christ. Let’s hear Jesus’ command to give the world something to eat. And let’s realize that we have all we need to make that happen – that because of God’s love for us, we are called and capable of doing the work of Christ in and for the sake of the world – and that when we do, there will be more than enough of that love and grace and hope to go around – with leftovers besides.

May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Churches United
Annual Delegate Assembly: The Annual Delegate Assembly is scheduled for Thursday, August 27th at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church 2601-15th St, Moline, IL 61265. Registration begins at 6:30 pm and the meeting will commence at 7:00 pm. The evening will include music, words of witness from our clients, and special reports.

Because of the partnership with Churches United of the Quad City Area team, we wish to honor you, All Saints, with a special presentation during our program for your service with the ministry. Please RSVP by Friday, August 14, 2020.

Thank you for your contributions and support throughout the years!

Rev. Dr. Melvin Grimes
Executive Director