One of the reasons I love our General Assemblies is because they offer us the space and time to gather together. It seems simple, really. But it is always an unforgettable time. I leave Assembly feeling renewed, rejuvenated, and deeply loved. What could be better than seeing friends from across the United States and Canada and realizing that we are so much more than friends, but family? We are a church family. A community of faith and friends and fellow sojourners. Members of God’s precious family whose particular tribe happens to be called Disciples.
Week of Compassion is, of course, just one expression of who we are as those Disciples. Each of you makes Week of Compassion what it is. It would not be as powerful as it is without you—for it is you. Your gifts not only support our very own Disciples tribe when we are in need (and that has been often this year); they also support those who may not be a part of our own Disciples family but who are our brothers and sisters across the globe who are also God’s children. We celebrate the many ways we have made a difference in the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
General Assembly is the perfect opportunity to celebrate, with all of you, how we have made an impact on the world. We have made a difference! We have responded after floods in Nashville, an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, tornadoes in Tuscaloosa and Joplin, and flooding across the Midwest. We help make it possible for girls to go to school across Africa and for their mothers to have access to water so they don’t have to spend a majority of their day walking to fetch water for their families. We provide tools and seeds to small stakeholder farmers throughout Central and South America so they can grow their own food and feed their communities. We support the strengthening of health systems and services throughout the developing world so people get the medical care they need to lead productive lives. This is all something to be celebrated!
Thus, we extend this sincere invitation to you to celebrate what you have accomplished through your gifts to Week of Compassion. Join us on Sunday, July 10, for an Open House at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. Our event this Assembly is not a traditional meal, or dinner, but rather an Open House. There will be heavy hors d’oeuvres. The doors to the Hall of Fame will open at 5:30 pm and will remain open until midnight! The place is ours. So feel free to come and go as you like—your ticket will provide you full access to the Hall of Fame and will allow you to leave to go to the WoC Benefit Concert that same evening. After the concert, we hope you will return to the Hall of Fame to hear some of the same musicians in a more intimate setting. You will also be able to meet representatives from our partner organizations so you can see and hear for yourselves firsthand accounts of the life-saving work you are engaged in through Week of Compassion.
If you are not able to meet us at General Assembly this year, we invite you to pray with us for this special time of family reunion and celebration. You will be missed! Please lift up other current prayer concerns, too: the tenuous situation in the Sudan; ongoing relief and humanitarian efforts in Libya and across the Middle East; recovery and healing for so many across the South and Midwest of the U.S., that those affected by severe weather will find peace and home again; for Haiti and Japan as they rebuild; and for our own Church as we strive to serve and love God by serving others at an extraordinary time in history such as this.
We value each and every one of you and thank you for your courageous compassion. Together, we are making a difference.
Praise be to God!
This Week's Responses
Arkansas, tornado relief
Missouri (2), tornado relief
Alabama, tornado relief