Lean into Love 2.0
2021 Lenten Project
Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the kickoff of our 2021 Lenten Project, “Lean into Love 2.0.” We need only think back a year to understand why we’re now in version 2.0 of “Lean into Love.”
A year ago, we were embarking on another Lenten Project that focused on a foreign mission, Chiapas, oblivious to gathering clouds foreshadowing the coming pandemic. Then, the pandemic and its accompanying restrictions hit us: schools were closed; businesses shuttered; most medical services severely curtailed; in-person worship halted; and even local travel sorely restricted. And, as things got worse instead of better, the pandemic’s human toll – massive economic and social dislocation – led to increasing hunger and housing insecurity among our neighbors in Watauga County. Amid growing concern for those local needs, “Lean into Love” was born, and the focus of our Lenten Project shifted to providing hunger and crisis assistance relief to our neighbors through our local mission partners. We raised just shy of $30,000 in that effort.
Fast forward a year, and, although signs of hope loom on the horizon, the pandemic’s lingering effects are still with us, and our neighbors’ needs continue. Enter “Lean into Love 2.0.” Again this year, we will disburse funds raised in this Project among five of our local mission partners that provide hunger or crisis relief, or a combination of both: Hunger and Health Coalition, Hospitality House, Casting Bread/Travis’s Lunchbox, WeCan (Western Crisis Assistance Network), and Rumple Presbyterian/Blowing Rock Cares. And, like last year, donations may be made by mailing-in a check made out to the church and earmarked for the “Disaster Relief Fund.” In coming weeks, we’ll highlight programs and services provided by each of our mission partners that help alleviate the pandemic’s effects on our neighbors.
We are “[a] family of faith called to grow in the love of Christ, share that Good News, and serve the world.” The Lord has commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves, Matthew 22: 39, and tells us that whenever we have fed or welcomed “the least of these . . . you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40.
In gratitude for all the Lord has done for us and considering the needs of our neighbors, please prayerfully consider to what extent you are able to contribute to our congregation’s Lenten Project.