We arrived at 11:30 and they were already waiting for us. The residents of the New Hope Sakowitz community were gathered for a weekly meeting, and they knew if they stuck around afterwards, they'd get to partake of the lunch we'd prepared for them. This is our third year at New Hope Sakowitz, so many of the residents have become very familiar to us. We look forward to greeting them and catching up with their lives. We look forward to feeding them. Most of all, we look forward to being a part of their community, even for just a couple of hours.
Our Serve Sunday work at New Hope Houston is meaningful for a number of reasons - it represents important outreach to a vulnerable population, gets Palmers of all ages working side-by-side, and provides nourishment to folks who don't always get healthy meals. But to me, the most meaningful aspect of our New Hope work is that we help provide community. What makes these Serve Sunday events especially important is that it provides community for both the residents and Palmers alike.
We get reminded of the value of community in Stewardship Season. In a very real sense, every pledge represents a mandate for the strength and mission of our community. Every pledge pushes us further into the greater Houston community, bringing God's message of grace, love, and service to those who need to hear it most. And every pledge strengthens the community of faith we rely on to sustain and strengthen us here at Palmer.