Jesus told a crowd of thousands gathered on a hillside, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). Jesus’ powerful metaphor is behind the name of Christ Church’s brand-new urban mission: Lumen (which means “light” in Latin and is a measure of the brightness of a light bulb). Our urban mission is dedicated to scattering the darkness of poverty by being the light of Christ among the least and the lowly in our city.
Over the past few years, I’ve had a growing sense that being a disciple of Christ required me to care about issues of poverty, justice, and mercy because Jesus cares about them, and that the Church won’t succeed in drawing others to Christ unless we both proclaim and demonstrate the gospel by ministering among the poor. This is the heart behind Christ Church’s core value of Changed World–joining God in His mission by boldly sharing the gospel, acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with our God in ways that engage and transform our culture.
Lumen will be an umbrella organization for serving among the poor in different ways that address issues that keep people in poverty. With such a big vision, we need to find a starting point. As an education researcher, I have witnessed the critical role reading plays in altering the trajectory of a child’s life. Following God’s leading, we are exploring a Saturday early literacy program for preschoolers and their families from the Meadowbrook housing project in south Austin. But we won’t just be providing a program. Our ministry will be relational and holistic, building enduring friendships across economic lines.
Moving forward, there will be opportunities for adults and children to serve in many different ways. Your first opportunity to get involved is coming up soon! On Palm Sunday, March 28, bring new or very gently used children’s books to worship. We’ll collect the books and give them to children in need at a Party in the Park on Saturday, April 17, at Ricky Guerrero Park, 2006 S. 6th St. The Party will be a day of fun and relationship building with Meadowbrook families. If you are interested in helping out at the Party, serving with Lumen in some other way, or want to learn moreabout our plans for urban missionplease contact me.
Blessed to serve Christ with you,