I grew up in the Baptist church. Every year (probably twice a year since we were Baptist), the cavernous foyer would be filled on a Sunday morning with tables upon tables of people returned from all over the world to share about their lives overseas. The Peru table was covered in beautiful blankets. The missionaries to India had pictures of elephants. Everyone had committed their lives to service and came to share how God had blessed them in the process.
This Sunday at Vox will be our first Mission Sunday. While we can’t promise elephants and exotic wares, there might be (just might be) a chicken. And possibly Harmon singing in Chinese. The liturgy and the community lunch will be focused on our local and global efforts to live missionally. Through a combination of prayer, God’s direction and long meetings, we decided as a missions team that Vox will engage in missions in the following ways this next year:
Good Neighbor Fund — This year, we are opening up applications beyond just local neighbors to include global partners and individuals. One example is Voxite Catie Johnston currently living and working with US- El Salvador Sister Cities in Guajoyo. Since Catie is a member of our community, she applied for a grant for her organization to be able to repair a roof and buy some needed supplies. Vox’s hope is that this fund, monitored by the missions team, will allow Vox covenant members to be able to bless their neighbors wherever they live in the world. Come by the GNF table to learn more.
Mobile Loaves and Fishes — A few of our members are engaged with MLF’s efforts to minister to the chronically homeless here in Austin. Because of this connection and MLF’s long history of serving meals and changing lives, the missions team chose them to be our local partner for the year. There will be multiple opportunities to serve alongside the Vox community. We also hope that people will take time to develop relationships with MLF and the people they serve outside of these designated service opportunities. You can learn more about MLF and how you can help by stopping by the table to see head gardener Steven Hebbard!
India — Vox has partnered with Calvary Church and their pastor Vincent Samuel in their transformational work in Chennai, India for 7 years. Team Citizens United are headed to India in October to visit Pastor Vincent, visit our friends the Seefeldts and explore new partnerships. It is our prayer that we are cultivating long-term relationships and that we will find partners that we can learn from, bless and encourage in the same way that they learn from, bless and encourage us. The India table will have the opportunity to make cards to say hi to the Seefeldts, so make sure you stop by!
After liturgy, we hope you will stay to eat and celebrate with us. There will be Indian food for lunch for a small amount per person.
[written by Constance Dykhuizen]
[Photo by Carmen Marchena @ Flickr]