Happy Wednesday, Church! And, Happy Independence Day (in advance).
 
It’s a great thing to celebrate our freedom and independence, isn’t it?
 
When I was thinking about the 4th of July, I was drawn to the New Colossus, which is the title of the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
 
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
 
I think it captures the American Experiment, where all people should be able to come and be free.
 
It also captures the Christian movement. Jesus said similar words in Matthew 25:31-46 (see excerpt below):
 
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’…‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
 
Jesus is telling his followers that when those who have lived their lives excluded from others are given a place at the table, then God is glorified.
 
I think our church is living this out even right now. Nearly every day, somebody is calling the church for help, because they saw the signs in our front yard (no joke). Folks who just want somebody to talk to or pray with. Folks who need food, shelter, transportation, or clothes. Folks who need home repairs or yard maintenance. As far as I know (you can follow up with Liz to be sure), we haven’t turned anyone away who has come our way.
 
We are lifting the torch of freedom to folks who have been enslaved to their circumstances, and with a little assistance from us, they are able to look up and see hope on the horizon. We are serving the “least of these,” and glorifying God in the process.
 
Keep it up, church.
 
Grab a sign and let folks know that you are part of the church who is here to help!
 
I’ll see you in a couple weeks, when I return from vacation.
 
Your Fellow Servant,
Pastor Derek
REMINDERS FROM THE CHURCH OFFICE: Our church’s Safety Plan for Re-Gathering for Worship was included in last week’s Enews and bulk-mailed to all church members. Click here to see the plan and here to see the cover letter. There will be no Zoom Fellowship Hours during the month of July. The July/Aug Spire is set for production on July 15. Please submit your articles and committee news to Kay by Sunday July 12.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help will be hosting a second Red Cross Blood Drive on Wednesday, July 22. Visit redcrossblood.org to find out more about this drive and others in our area.
Rodger and Sandy Shaulis share their support, letting folks know that TCIA is here to help! Get your sign, snap a photo, and share it with us! 

MORE SIGNS ARE GETTING POSTED IN OUR COMMUNITY, AND WORD IS GETTING OUT THAT THE CHURCH IN AURORA IS HERE TO HELP. 

Email Pastor Derek to get your sign. In return, we ask for two things: 

  1. Consider making a $10 donation
  2. Consider taking picture of you and/or your family in front of your sign for us to share

Friends, The Church in Aurora is a strong church with great peopleand one of the things I have loved most about this faith community is that even though we may have differences in our politics or theology, we all have united around helping our community. We dont let our differences hinder our missionso, lets lock arms and continue to stand strong as we commit to serving those who have needs in our community and in the surrounding area.
                                                                                                   — Pastor Derek
 

Because we are The Church in Aurora, we are here to help.

Week 15
COMMUNITY RELIEF FUND UPDATE


154 people in 45 households were served again last week – BUT that number is growing for this week. “I think this means that our HOW CAN WE HELP? signs are working!” says Liz Sutter.  Requests are being received for pastoral counseling and other needs, as well as food assistance. We are BEING THE CHURCH for our community. Liz wants to thank the team of volunteers who have prepared The Escape’s garage so that food distribution preparation and pickup can move back there effective this week. Photos of the new operations will be included in the July 12 Enews. Your contributions of full size toiletry and hygiene products are appreciated and may still be dropped off in the plastic bin outside the church’s glass doors.

The
 Sirna and Sons program continues to help sustain The Community Relief efforts.  Orders for fresh meats, dairy, fruits, veggies and more at competitive prices can be made online and will be placed in your car touch-free at Leighton Elementary School on Thursdays between 9 am and 11 am.  15% of all orders received go to the Aurora Community Relief Fund. You can click here to check out their website and make an online order.