Engaging Poverty in Our Community

Today, October 15, is “Blog Action Day.”  Around the world, bloggers are posting on the same topic.  This year’s theme is, “Poverty”.

The challenge for us who live in our region is having the eyes to see the poverty around us.  We can easily pretend that it doesn’t exist.  For example, one major newspaper described our political riding for yesterday’s election like this:

This affluent, mostly white riding by Lake Ontario has at times been nicknamed “Borington” because its wealthy, mostly educated constituents have a penchant for not shaking things up – at least politically.

If this is how we choose to see ourselves, we will never engage the economic and ethnic diversity of our region.  As a church, I am thankful that we are beginning to become more aware of some of the poverty “hidden” among us with our embrace of a ministry at a local motel that serves as home for a number of people with significant struggles.

On October 25, our church is holding a “Serve Burlington” day.  Events like this are small steps, but they help soften our heart toward those who are an important part of our community but are often forgotten and overlooked.  It’s all part of learning to follow the path of Jesus.

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2 thoughts on “Engaging Poverty in Our Community

  1. Our family had a unique opportunity once again to serve at Living Mosaic this month. While we were there, Marian Lensink was invited to speak. She reminded us about how being lonely, is a form of terrible “poverty”. We were challenged in her talk entitled ” Simply Loving Others…. in Community”these things: 1) how relationships are key. 2)Find a place to connect, beyond sunday morning 3)Find ways to show sincere love & care. 4) Be willing to share of yourself, so you can begin to have a deeper connection. 5)Become a good listener, ask the question, then listen. 6) Be willing to ask the “God” questions 7)Pray….. Phil 2 vs 3&4 gives us great insight of imitating Christ. Neat food for thought, thanks Marian! and thanks Pastor Kevin in continuing to challenge all of us to just “Be community”…..Awesome, practical and achievable reminders, when we remain in HIM… Marg Heideman

  2. Thanks Pastor Kevin for that challenge. Poverty and dealing with the poor is such a hard topic to discuss yet we need to uncover and unpack our roles within God’s kingdom. I have been recently struggling with this issue and what role I play. I am constantly in struggle with myself. Why don’t I do more for the poor? Often the answers are quite superficial: “I’m too busy.””I don’t know any poor people.” “What could I possibly do to help them.” If I’m honest, those are all pretty crappy answers. The truth is that working with the poor is messy. I’m reminded of the sermon Pastor Kevin gave about the Good Samaritan and how helping meant getting dirty, literally. The Good Samaritan must have been covered in blood and dirt carrying the victim. Am I ready to get that dirty? Emotionally? Physically? Spiritually? I’m learning that in the end, it’s not the final results that matter, it’s my obedience to God’s call to helping the poor – the financially poor, emotionally poor, and spiritually poor. If I can run around driving my kids to soccer, dance, swimming, make it to various church and school committees and still have time to catch a movie or a drink with some friends, surely I must have an hour or two a week to connect with those who need the connection. I was challenged by someone one day: “How many poor people in Burlington (Borington) do you know?” Embarassed, I couldn’t answer that question.

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