As you may know, yesterday (April 22) was the 22nd annual celebration of Earth Day.
I am pretty good about being environmentally aware, at least when it is convenient. We recycle, combine car trips and errands, and run the dishwasher instead of hand-washing. But those two or three plastic water bottles that I throw in the trash don’t make a big difference, do they? Perhaps not, but what about your three and your three and your three multiplied by the number of people in San Diego, the country, the world? I commit to being inconvenience and keeping the environment in mind.
While we are aware of and thankful for the earth, I also suggest we consider its inhabitants: those with fur, feathers and scales, but especially those with two feet.
There is a great need for us to step out of our four walls in San Diego and make a difference. As you know, our Church’s mission is “compassion, healing and joy.” I invite you to join me in this work, taking the first step in compassion.
Consider the San Diego Street Angels. This organization provides food, supplies and referrals to the approximately 6,000 (yes, six thousand) homeless young people in San Diego. There is also the Live and Let Live Alano Club that offers a place for those in recovery to come and attend meetings, events, and just be. They serve over 100,000 people a year. And the Community Christian Service Association provides food, clothing, supplies and referrals to families in our area.
We have life pretty good in San Diego. One of the ideas that really touched me was that while I am trying to decide which of the 20 pairs of white socks I have that I want to wear, the number one requested item from the young people served by the San Diego Street Angels is white socks.
So here is the plan. Beginning in May, on the first Sunday of the month, we will receive a special offering to benefit community service organizations. I ask you to contribute just $10 per month (or more if you wish), above your normal tithes and offerings. If you will not be in Church on that day, or if you don’t attend on Sundays, you can mail a check to the Church, or donate securely via PayPal on our website. The money we collect will be split between two or three service organizations.
On the third Sunday, I will ask you to bring a product to be donated. It might be a package of white socks, or a tube of suntan lotion. We will announce two weeks in advance what our focus will be. You’ll be at Target, WalMart or the grocery during that week anyway, and I know you’ll want to be part of this.
I am moved, excited and humbled by this new direction we are taking. The Sufi mystic poet Rumi reminds us to “look through the eyes of the Beloved. You will see the Beloved everywhere.”
Thank you in advance for your support of this sacred project!