There are so many unsung heroes in our communities today. I want to encourage all of you to look this week for those who do small things to make our lives better and fuller. This is especially important as we approach All Saints Sunday.
We are reminded in the hymn, "I Sing a Song of the Saints of God," which is number 712 in our United Methodist Hymnal, that saints are present all around us:
"They lived not only in ages past; there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints who love to do Jesus' will.
You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,
in the church, by the sea in the house next door;
they are saints of God whether rich or poor,
and I mean to be one, too."
Yes, we know of the saints who have died, and we will recall their names in the next few weeks and have our hearts warmed by the thought of them once more. But, we cannot forget that we walk among saints everyday. These are heroes to the world, but, to me, they are saints. They shine forth the love of God in the simple and small ways that they serve humanity.
Allow me to share one about some saints in our district: Family Promise of Gwinnett County. No, they are not a United Methodist organization, even though the UMC is a large supporter of this ministry. Family Promise believes that "as one person I cannot change the whole world, but I can change the world of one person." Family Promise does just that as they work diligently and daily behind the scenes of our lives to aid those who are homeless. They provide shelter, meals, and support services to families without homes through a network of local congregations. It is their hope to end homelessness - one family at a time. This year alone they have had a success rate of over 90 %. These men and women and the congregations that support with their buildings, prayers, food, and more are the true saints as they serve the stranger with love.
I would encourage all our churches in Gwinnett County to join these saints by offering your space or your time be a saint of God.
On this Sunday we also remember those of our clergy family who have entered the Kingdom Triumphant this year:
Mrs. Betty Jane Moore
Rev. Chris Carlton
Mr. Andrew Ethridge
Rev. James Styles
We are blessed to have walked among them and to walk among these in our community today.
Let's be a saint, too,