November 2, 2022
A Note from Pastor Jon
Those who have been around Hilliard UMC for a while are familiar with our annual Thanksgiving Outreach.
To those newer to our HUMC community, this outreach is a partnership that is shared among HUMC, other area UMC churches, Hilliard City Schools, and the Hilliard Food Pantry. (If you experience food insecurity and want to get on the list to receive food and gift cards through our Thanksgiving Outreach, contact the Hilliard Food Pantry [https://www.hilliardfoodpantry.org/].)
This partnership will provide over 11,000 pounds of produce (sweet potatoes, white potatoes, apples, pears, onions, and cabbage), pumpkin pies, and a minimum of $30 in grocery gift cards for families to round out other needs.
Thanksgiving Outreach serves 350 families
We serve 350 local families through this partnership.
If that sounds like a lot, I assure you, it’s probably more than you are even beginning to imagine.
How are we going to make this happen?
Every year in the three years I’ve been doing this I find myself asking, How are we going to make this happen? Then on the day of distribution we would have more than enough and every family that showed up was served.
This year, I’m asking myself the same question. Only this year, I have to honestly admit there have been days these last few weeks when I’ve wondered, can we really do this?
Can we ask folks to give resources at a time when so many families are already stretched thin?
The cost of groceries continues to climb. Many people are expressing compassion fatigue. There are so many calls to help those in need, and those who give are feeling the pinch. Quite frankly there are those who once could give but maybe even now could use some assistance for themselves, and giving even a small amount can seem like too much.
So I really started praying, and wouldn’t you know it, I was doing some reading and saw a passing reference to Luke 6:38.
There it says, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap, for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
In this chapter Jesus is doing some teaching on the topic of love and mercy. What does it mean to be loving? What does it mean to be merciful?
Jesus is specifically speaking to those who feel that they have to either accumulate all they can or live in fear that there is not enough, in terms of resources, to go around for everyone.
In both instances, to offer love and mercy requires us to often give more of ourselves than we might otherwise be willing — to love beyond where we might limit ourselves and to give beyond where we might limit ourselves and to truly trust that God will do through us what we cannot do on our own.
And when we love and give without regard for ourselves, we will be blessed more than we can imagine.
A God of Abundance
This is because our God is a God of abundance, not a God of scarcity. There is enough.
Here’s the cool part.
Jesus wasn’t saying that one person had all the resources or had all the answers or had to give all the love or all the mercy. Yet Jesus is saying we have more than we think, and when we give it’s not given in a vacuum.
What we give, when put alongside that of what others can give, it’s there that when pressed and shaken together there is an overflowing abundance.
In giving together alongside our Hilliard City Schools and the Hilliard Food Pantry and local United Methodist churches, we can and we will be able to meet the need with overflowing abundance. We can do so, however, only if we are willing to trust that God will indeed bless what we give out of love and mercy.
Friends, if you can only give a single $10 gift card, please give. If you can give ten or twenty $10 gift cards, please give. If you can give a couple of hours on November 19, sign up to be physically present. If you can only give 30 minutes, please show up. (If you give online using the button below, please use the Operating Fund option and put “Thanksgiving Outreach” in the memo field.)
Together, with hearts of love and mercy, we will help to share the love and mercy of God with so many in our community.
The Rev. Jon Osmundson
614.876.2403 (church office)