"Love God, and love one another." These words told by Jesus have been proclaimed by the church since the beginning and with anything has been severely abused, misunderstood, and forgotten in the church. How do we do it? What can be done? what programs are out there? Unfortunately, we can't conceivably determine the exact way by which we should follow the great commands of Christ. This is something we all need to pray about, act accordingly, and deal with the messiness.
The other day, myself and another congregation member went door to door in our neighborhood to gather food pantry items for Catholic Charities. We walked around on the first day of snow in MN and a chillin' wind asking each person to join our church in serving those in need. To my shock, 99% of all people (that answered the door) had something to give, even one guy came back three times to make sure he gave enough.
When we got to our last house, a very nice lady who works for the city of Sartell as a police officer came by asking, "What's going on guys?" Evidently while we were going door to door, someone called the police to turn in two guys carrying grocery bags. Suspicion runs high within our culture. There was no problem, just a misunderstanding.
This is something that my first reaction was to give up. Why should we continue to do this when people will call us in? Why love people who are highly suspicious, distant, and for all intensive purposes, unloving? I understand the fear, but it does not mean we as a church don't continue to serve. We probably won't go out with hoodies and grocery bags for a time, BUT we will continue to love as Christ first loved us.
We are currently praying for the needs of Sartell to be revealed to us so that we can live out the will of Christ to those around. Lord have mercy