from the desk of…LOve My CC MINISTRIES
By Diane O’Brien, Lt. Colonel
I couldn’t help pointing out the bold letters!
I often hear, “I wish we were still called League of Mercy.” But we’re not. Nor are we called “Community Care.” Let’s do it right—we are Community Care Ministries, and it’s my job to encourage all aspects of this foundational ministry of The Salvation Army.
The other day, while traveling in the car, my husband exercised his best known gift on me. He asked me questions! He asked about the role of Community Care Ministries and what I was doing to further it in this territory. What do I see as the role for CC Ministries? This is like one of those surveys. Check the answer you most agree with:
1. To give Christmas and Easter gifts to nursing home residents. It has to be reported on the statistical form, so we must do it.
2. To reach people in the community who may be lonely or isolated and visit them. It could be done by Salvationists, advisory board members, well-heeled volunteers, young people, ARC residents, social service clients.
3. To give boundless ministry opportunities to Salvationists and friends.
So what is your answer?
Well, number one is true. There are many lonely people who love to be visited by a gift giver at special times—Easter, Christmas, Veterans’ day, just-because-I-care day. And if the corps doesn’t do it and record it, somebody will ask why.
One line on the statistical form can send me sky high in two seconds—the one that says “acts of kindness without personal contact.” What is that? The definition says it’s sending a card or handing a bottle of water to a marathoner. That statistic, which incidentally seems to be the only one that is showing consistent growth, should disappear, and this is how we do it: Add in a personal contact to every one of those acts of kindness! Show them we care—make it a ministry.
And number two is correct, too. Program Secretary Lt. Colonel Edward Hill recently shared about a lady who had no faith but was invited to share in the nursing home gift giving at a corps. It led to…well that’s his story! But by involving people who have never done ministry we could open their hearts. After all, you don’t have to be a Salvationist to do CC Ministry. Show them we care—make it a ministry.
And number three is correct, too. Our vision has become tunneled and we limit our imaginations sometimes when it comes to CC Ministries. Millions of acts of kindness waiting to be done—simple things: a coupon corner for the social services, provided by corps folk, sorted by young people, used by the needy; a button sewing circle; a smoke detector battery changing brigade; an alley clean up group. You have imaginations and the only thing that you need to do to make it CC Ministry is show them we care—make it a ministry.
It’s scriptural. It’s Holy Spirit inspired. It’s simply the right thing to do.
In Matthew 25:40 we read these words of Jesus: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Show them we care—make it a ministry.