By Jessica Brodie
One of the most wonderful things to come out of 2020 has been the chance to see people of God allowing the Holy Spirit to move and work through them. It is a beautiful thing to witness the words of Romans 8:28 fulfilled: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (NIV).
It’s been a hard year—but also a good year. Good, for light is being shined into racial problems and discrimination in important new ways. Good, for in spite of a pandemic, communities and families are coming together. Good, because churches are stepping up in new and innovative ways to help.
We see with fresh eyes many of society’s problems: Educational disparities. Domestic violence. Food insecurity. People living paycheck to paycheck. A need for adequate healthcare. A need for strong and affordable early childhood education. A living wage. Safe housing.
What’s been such a blessing for me, as editor of this newspaper, is the opportunity to write, photograph and otherwise include in our pages stories of people of faith finding new ways to serve God.
Take the article, “Sanctuary Kids,” on Page 1. A children’s ministry director, whose heart was moved when she realized the deep anxiety of her church’s families about what to do with their kids during the school day when lessons were entirely online, asked her church to help. And without hesitation, that church—Clemson United Methodist—agreed. Now they are supervising scores of elementary and middle school students during virtual school days so their parents can work. Wow!
Or, also on Page 1, the food pantry at Virginia Wingard Memorial UMC that, when health concerns over pandemic forced them to close their doors to in-house assistance, decided to convert their ministry to a drive-thru so hungry people could eat.
Consider the story on Page 3 featuring one church, Wesley UMC, Ladson, that decided to help its members register to vote.
Or the story about the teams of men and women heading to Alabama to help after a hurricane (Page 1).
Or the story on Page 6 about First UMC, Laurens, whose members packed 500 bags of United Methodist Committee on Relief hygiene kits and 100 provision bags for persons experiencing homelessness.
This is good news, my friends! God nudged—or cried out, or whispered—and the people listened! They responded by faithfully stepping up in action to serve beyond themselves.
God is at work in each one of us as we love His people—those who know Him already and those who do not yet believe.
We’re in the final few months of what has been a tremendously trying, difficult year—but one whose beauty still shines. And I, for one, am eager to see how else God will move through His people.
Do you have a story to share? I’d love to hear it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jessica Brodie