4 Reasons to Support Our Neighbors During Advent*
December 1st, 2023
Since 1985, UCOM has been in the trenches, right in the thick of the fight against the root causes of poverty. Will you or have you joined us in this place that is sometimes ugly and hard and where people are suffering hurts that feel impossible to bear?
This is our true mission: to be in the trenches with the wounded bringing the light of the sun, the light of hope to those all around us, and to absorb the hope that’s generated there from our neighbors going through some of their fiercest battles.
Sometimes we have answers that people are looking for. And other times the most we can do is curl our fingers around someone else’s, and rub their hands until that spark forms and hope blooms in the rich darkness of the soil.
When you join us in this sacred work, by volunteering, by giving, by praying and hoping for us, you are giving your best gift to people who need it most.
Be assured that you are loved completely right where you are right here in the trenches. May you and yours be filled with hope today and every day, and share that hope throughout the year.
Many of us have a skewed idea of what peace is. Peace is not the absence of turmoil, worry, and confusion.
Real peace derives from justice. No justice, no peace.
As long as people suffer under the weight of oppression with no one to help bear the load, there is no peace. No peace for them. No peace for us because there really is no them and us. There is only all of us.
Until we are willing to disrupt the status quo by raising our voice for systemic justice, for all, we will not know peace.
UCOM offers one avenue for creating justice. As you give and volunteer and make yourself present to all your neighbors, you cultivate peace for yourself, and make it available to a multitude of others.
Ironic, isn’t it? Ironic that simply having enough food to eat, brings such joy.
UCOM has been bringing this kind of joy to people for 37 years. Faces beam as good fresh nutritious food is made available. Along with our joy of seeing these shining faces, hearing the whoops of the children, as they realize they can get fresh fruit, comes the sad realization, that these children, indeed, all of these people, who are so elated to have food for their table, should be taking that for granted.
If only we could find a way to the hearts of those who guard the vaults of our nation, if only the majority of people could relate to an empty stomach, people could take joy for granted.
Until that time comes our neighbors need people who care to be present for them in their vulnerable times. That’s where you and UCOM come in. As long as we advocate and give and volunteer, we can give a measure of joy to others, and receive the joy that comes with being present with other people and their needs.
What is the barrier that delays your offering of love? Do you wait for someone worthy of loving? Do you wait for someone you anticipate will reciprocate your love? It may be time for each of us to evaluate what the wall is, that presents a barrier to our full expression of loving our neighbors and loving ourselves or our families.
The Christian scriptures, proclaim, “love never fails”. Whatever other pious attitudes make up our character, it is love that makes us fully human.
At UCOM we may not talk about love as much as we do about life and hope. Instead, we intend to live our love so that it is not just heard about, but felt by everyone who comes to our doors. That’s a tall order, and there are many barriers that must be overcome before that love can shine through.
Will you join us in expressing love? Your generous giving of your time and finances ensures that our neighbors feel the love, the empathy, the humanity of real people– – a chosen family – – every time they turn to us.
*Inspired by the poetry of Amy G. S. A. Brooks in the book Another Scroll published by Pilgrim Press.