The Mission Committee at The Union Church in Waban builds on the interdenominational spirit of our congregation and embraces a rich tradition of inclusiveness. We involve all segments of our multigenerational community in embodying the teachings of Christ, “let us love not in word or deed, but in truth and action.” – I John 3:18 The world at large presents overwhelming needs. Rather than feeling beleaguered, we look at such needs as an opportunity for enriching ourselves through service to others. Our congregation has chosen to support projects that focus on health and education at the local, national, and international levels.
International Partnerships Church-wide involvement provides for much greater depth of understanding and commitment to a particular mission outreach effort. As a church community we have made an ongoing commitment to the communities of our sister city San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, and to Lusaka, Zambia. Our relationship with the people of Nicaragua is well developed while we are just embarking on new relationships in Zambia. Our church supports a biannual mission trip to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.
Mission Outreach at The Union Church in Waban Includes Community! Individual church members also give of themselves in many ways…beautifying our building and environment, maintaining our historical and vital presence in Waban square, and helping keep our unique interdenominational place of worship alive. We also support established community service projects and outreach in which our church members already participate. Our internal mission, therefore, is to help all of us to establish a lifelong commitment to service to others.
“…if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.” -Isaiah 58:10
Lenten Mission Project
by Annie Gatewood and the Mission Committee
I did not grow up giving something up for Lent. For me, Lent’s significance has always been minimal; Easter is around the corner and perhaps the New England winter might actually end. It has only been recently that I have had the yearning to learn more about what Lent means. I’m sure it is not a coincidence that this yearning has coincided with my experience in witnessing hunger in Zambia. What would that be like, to have a constant ache deep in your belly that pervades your entire body? Julia, among others, was surprised at how “happy” people are in Zambia amidst such poverty. I’m not sure it is happiness exactly, but the question persists, “How is it that people can be full of spirit and hope when the body is so malnourished?”
This Lenten season the mission committee will provide the framework to guide us through Lent asking, “What is it to be hungry? What are the hungers of our day: physical hunger for food, spiritual hunger for meaning, social hunger for connection, familiar hunger for belonging?”
And to ask, “When are we too full?” What do we long to let go of? Too full of rush and worry. Too full of violence and anxiety. Too full with addiction. Too full with fear. Is being too full getting in the way of deepening our faith, sapping our spirit and sense of hope?”
On February 10th during reception, the Mission Committee will hand out Lenten booklets that will contain scripture, prayer, and suggestions about how UCW members can engage in this Lenten theme of hunger and fullness. Those who choose to let go or fast from a particular item or activity during Lent will have the opportunity to pool their “Lenten offerings” with others to address a particular need related to hunger. Children will make rice bowls during Sunday School for congregants to use as a container for their sacrifices, whether it is the money saved from fasting or a slip of paper with something you are letting go of, in order to walk more humbly with God. These offerings will culminate in the Easter offering.
During Holy Week we will have an opportunity to gather for a time of reflection.