A Year to Serve

The greatest among you will be your servant. Matthew 23:12

Now that 2017 is in full swing, if you are like me you have already forgotten that pesky New Year’s resolution list and have plowed into the new year full steam ahead (don’t worry, Lent is only a few weeks away…). Or better yet, maybe you never even made a list to begin with. Either way, consider this a last minute addition to your resolution list, a late Christmas present, and a heartfelt call to action all rolled into one.

A quick bit of background on me. I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a town that takes great pride in its blue collar work ethic. My parents embodied that to a great extent, my mother a night nurse and my father a social worker for inner city youth. Perhaps you grew up in a similar environment, where your own physical labor meant pride, respect, a sincere service provided. In communities like these, serving others is often just a part of daily life, whether it was part of your paycheck or not. In my family’s case, serving as local missionaries became our summer vacation in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware through the Children’s Sand and Surf Mission (CSSM) where we provided “on the beach” vacation bible school to vacationing families.

Serving others is a part of Glenn’s daily life as well. It’s part of our DNA. This past year alone, we built our 25th Habitat house, saw over 150 people serve throughout Atlanta on Good Neighbor Day, and provided scholarships to over 100 children in Zimbabwe, Cambodia, and Honduras. And those are the big headlines! Quietly in the background Glenn members also spent hundreds of hours packing snacks for local needy children, sorting clothes for refugees, and serving food to the homeless. Cold, dark, rainy days included. Because this is what Christ calls us to do: to serve the least of these, with humble hearts, with little fanfare. 

To kickoff 2017, the three Service teams at Glenn (Church and Society, Environmental, Missions) gathered on January 3 to discuss our wishes, hopes, and dreams. This year we are excited to roll out a monthly service activity for Glenn members to participate in, with the hope of giving everyone a chance to be the hands and feet of Christ every month. The activities will showcase the diverse relationships we have with local, global, and environmental causes here in Atlanta and abroad. From tilling the North Dekalb Mall Community Garden in February to serving at the International Rescue Committee refugee store in March, there will be great opportunities for all ages and skill sets to continue Glenn’s tradition of humble service. And this weekend you can get your year of service started with our MLK Service Day.

 Aaron volunteering at the IRC refugee store.

Aaron volunteering at the IRC refugee store.

As your humble brother and friend (and Service Chair), I ask you to thoughtfully consider putting Service on this year’s resolution list. Because when we serve together, we witness together, we get to know each other better, and we grow the Kingdom just a little bit more.

Aaron Hurst