‘Which of these three, do you think,
was a neighbor to the man
who fell into the hands of the robbers?’
He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
+ Luke 10:36-37
Over the last several weeks, we’ve been exploring what “Grace in Action” looks like, for God and for us. We’ve considered God’s generosity in building the home of creation, and our call to be world-builders and homemakers, too. We’ve thought about God’s prodigal, neverending welcome, and about our own hospitality and celebration.
This week, as we approach Giving Sunday, October 23rd, we’d like to ask you to reflect on the grace that appears when we least expect it.
That’s what Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan is all about, since Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along in those days: imagining someone from the “other side” – of the aisle, of the debate, of the conflict – whose actions beautifully reflect the grace of God. And then going and doing likewise.
When the image of God shines brightest through our lives, we find ourselves building bridges, showing and receiving mercy, and learning from supposed “enemies.” Through our youth planting sea grass to restore Texas marshes, our Social Justice team providing feminine hygiene products and school supplies for students in need, using our building to host open and affirming ministries like Gender Hope, demonstrating at the State Capitol to support sensible gun control, and supporting many local nonprofits like Austin Coalition for the Homeless, we’ve been a part of God’s merciful work of justice and reconciliation.
United Christian Church of Austin has a long history of “Grace in Action,” and with your help, we can do even more. So be sure to join us this Sunday for Giving Sunday, when we’ll celebrate and reflect on all the ways God’s “Grace in Action” has shaped our community, as well as all the ways we seek to be more gracious in our lives and work together. If you haven’t pledged online already at uccaustin.org/pledge, be ready in worship to fill a pledge card out with grace upon grace!
See you Sunday,
Rev. Anna Kreisle (Senior Minister), Letty Tomlinson (Stewardship Team Lead), Jan Keeling (Financial Secretary), and Sarah Donohoe (Treasurer)
We have two active collections as we continue in hurricane season and look toward the holiday season.
We are collecting items for Hygiene Kits with Church World Service. These kits go to those who are recovering from disasters or are in a refugee situation. Needed items are:
Each year in October, we collect canned food for Thanksgiving Boxes at Bethany Food Pantry. Bethany asks us to collect canned corn, green beans, and yams, and we have made it easy by suggesting you grab the cans based on your last name.
Last Name A-G: 15 oz. Canned Corn
Last Name H-O: 15 oz. Canned Green Beans
Last Name P-Z: 29 oz. Canned Yams
After worship on October 30th for our 5th Sunday Social Justice project, we will prepare the cans to go to Bethany who will hand them out to their clients, and we will assemble the hygiene kits and ship them directly to Church World Service for distribution.
Thank you for giving where you can to our neighbors experiencing needs.
We’re so excited to launch this year’s annual giving campaign, “Grace in Action.” Throughout the month of October, we’ll reflect together on how God generously puts grace into action through us.
Here at United Christian Church of Austin, we’ve been hard at work putting grace into action. For example, through our Little Pantry and work with Bethany Food Bank, we are feeding the hungry every day. Through our radical hospitality and LGBTQ+ welcoming, we’ve made a spiritual home for adults, youth, and children who have been elsewhere excluded.
Through our contributions to organizations like Coalition for the Homeless and our denominations’ Global Missions Office, we’re empowering people near and far. Through our weekly Children’s Collection, 5th Sunday Service Projects, and our annual Youth Mission Trip, all generations at UCC come together to make God’s grace real in our world today.
This month, you’ll hear and read brief testimonies from pledging members of our community. You’ll hear why they’ve committed their time and resources to this amazing family of faith and its mission, and we hope you’ll find your place to give, too. You'll have your own opportunity to make a pledge on Giving Sunday, October 23rd. No matter how you choose to pledge to the mission of UCC in 2023, know that your commitment is putting God’s grace into action, creating a more just and peaceful world for all.
Grace and peace,