God calls us to do justice

The Rev. William Robinson Jr., executive director of Better Community Development, leads a recovery meeting at Theressa Hoover United Methodist Church, Little Rock, Ark. BCD is funded in part by gifts on Human Relations Day, one of the six Special Sundays with offering of the United Methodist Church. (UMNS photo by Songhai Nelson)

God calls us to do justice wherever we are. At Theressa Hoover United Methodist Church in Little Rock, justice comes in the form of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual healing through outreach programs, especially for individuals grappling with addiction.

During our Recovery Summit in September 2012, we challenged other congregations to take the risk: to reach, touch and restore lives. We urged participants to free people from the power of addictions, the pain of abuse and the effects of personal wounds and losses.

We believe God calls us to life-changing, radical ministry.

Theressa Hoover United Methodist Church started a unique partnership with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries in 1981. My predecessors founded Black Community Developers (BCD) to heal the lives of children, youths and families wounded by social inequalities based on race, class, gender, sex, sexuality and age. For more than three decades, we’ve sought to be a church engaged in mission.

2014 Human Relations Day

BCD is funded in part by your generous gifts on Human Relations Day Sunday, one of the six United Methodist Special Sundays with offering.

Human Relations Day

Human Relations Day strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youths.

Since its inception, Black Community Developers has risked providing outpatient services and residential treatment for individuals recovering from substance abuse, as well as programs in HIV/AIDS prevention, job training, permanent and supportive housing and youth intervention. In 2010, we kept the acronym but changed the name to Better Community Development to reflect the inclusive nature of our mission, vision and outreach programs.

A radically inclusive and progressive congregation, Theressa Hoover forged a partnership with Better Community Development based on the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). This parable calls the church to travel the dangerous road of social justice: to meet the poor, the disadvantaged and the underserved at the places where others have robbed them and help them to recover from the wounds of social inequality.

In his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. distinguished between the risk not taken by the priest and the Levite and the risk taken by the Samaritan.

Share in seeking justice

Human Relations Day is an opportunity for United Methodists to share in seeking justice for our neighbors. On this day, congregations are given the unique opportunity to join with individuals, groups, businesses, community organizations and residents to heal the wounds of social inequality.

Human Relations Day strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youths.

The special offering supports neighborhood ministries, community advocacy and work with at-risk youth.

Human Relations Day encourages us to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to stay on the side of those whom others choose to forget.

The Human Relations Day offering is allocated as follows:

To learn more about the Human Relations Day Sunday offering click here.

To give to the Human Relations Day Sunday offering to help programs like this one click here.

Editor's note: This article contains excerpted material from a UMNS story written by the Rev. I. Malik Saafir, former senior pastor of Theressa Hoover United Methodist Church, Little Rock, Ark.

 

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