As the summer begins I want to wrap up thoughts related to our sermon series on mission. Before I do so, I also want to introduce our next sermon series. As much as I can, I try to develop a sermon series based on both what I have personally experienced in life — stories, concerns, questions, joys, and curiosities of church members, other Christians, non-believers, and sometimes even what might be swirling around in the media. For the month of June, starting June 9, we are going to look at the “Tripping Hazards” of our faith. From books, TV, media, and other human sources in life, we have all developed some pretty poor theology (theology simply meaning the study or understanding of our faith). For example, a bad cliché is often used in situations of untimely death such as “God just needed another angel in His heavenly choir”. Reality is that is not true at all — nothing in the Bible supports this idea. Realizing that our beliefs can sometimes be misguided can help us grow closer to God and understand His true nature, and that is what we will do through June.

We have looked at many things regarding mission the last few months, but I want to take this month to share a ministry and passion that I have had for many years, which has taken on specific form here in the New Castle area. You have probably heard me talk here and there about His Hands Ministries, but wondered what it was all about. I have delayed talking about it at length for a few reasons. The first is timing, but the second is because it has taken me close to a year to be able to describe this ever-changing and growing ministry.

His Hands was founded ten years ago in joint partnership with Lawrence County Community Action Partnership (LCCAP) and area churches. Just a few years ago, LCCAP handed off the project entirely into the churches’ hands. The current leadership includes several area pastors and church members. The mission of His Hands is to serve the needs of families, elderly, and people struggling with various things with home repair needs, handicap accessibility issues, etc. Funding sources include a few different grants — some government, others from foundations. Originally the endeavor only encompassed one “blitz” week a summer with youth and volunteers coming together to complete the work. Within the last year, we have begun to tackle projects throughout the rest of the year, and are still finding our way through that process. Between taking calls, inspecting projects, meeting with home owners and organizing the work, it can take quite a while to get things moving, especially since we are all working on a “volunteer” basis. First I want to invite you to at the very least, observe, if not take part in this year’s “blitz week” from July 22-26. We will be concentrating our efforts in the Lower East Side around the court house, Origins house, and Bibleway Church. You can get involved by helping to prepare or serve meals, supervise youth, put your construction, landscaping, or laboring skills to use (no prior experience necessary!), or simply spend some time with homeowners and community members. Second, I hope seeing one of my personal passions for ministry can help to inspire YOU to see that God is calling you to use your talents and passions for the good of His kingdom.

While I do not know how it came about (I was not here ten years ago!) I do know that “His Hands” came from Job 1:10. Basically, Satan is looking for someone on Earth to attack. Upon talking with God, Satan looks upon Job and says to God, “You (the Lord) have blessed the work of his hands”. When we gather together to bless others, God blesses the work of our hands. Know that God will continue to bless the work of your hands, especially when it is to the benefit of others we love in the name of Christ.