All of us have different ways in which we find rest and relaxation to recharge our batteries. I am humbled and excited that Christ Lutheran is granting me a six-week sabbatical to recharge myself. During this time, I will be coordinating a variety of projects to volunteer with others to serve others, and I would like to invite you to join me! I have been fortunate to experience a variety of life changing events that have stirred my heart to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by substandard living conditions and/or hunger in their daily lives. Recent research conducted by the USDA shows that 11.1% or 37 million American households are food insecure, which includes 12.5 million children, and 22% of American households live in substandard living conditions. Substandard conditions consist of issues including mold, structural issues and lead-based paint. As you can imagine the numbers in developing countries such as El Salvador are even more staggering. In my opinion, this is unacceptable, and I feel called to make a difference in the lives of those experiencing these issues. Last week during the Bridge Service on the Providence campus we sang one of my favorite songs, that stirs my heart every time I hear it sung. “We are Called” by David Haas states it perfectly how I should be living my life every day. Come! live in the light! Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord! We are called to be light for the kingdom, To live in the freedom of the city of God! We are called to act with justice. We are called to love tenderly. We are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God. Come! Open your heart! Show your mercy to all those in fear! We are called to be hope for the hopeless, So all hatred and blindness will be no more! We are called to act with justice. We are called to love tenderly. We are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God. Sing! Sing a new song! Sing of that great day when all will be one! God will reign and we'll walk with each other as sisters and brothers united in love! During my sabbatical, I am coordinating 3 separate service events. One, locally, in Charlotte (March 9 – March 22), One nationally in my hometown of Yankton, South Dakota (July 13 – July 26) and An international service opportunity in El Salvador (November 7 – November 22). I am partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build or renovate homes as well as with local food pantries, soup kitchens etc. to provide non-perishable food or a well-balanced meal for their guests. In Charlotte, I have coordinated the following events that I hope YOU will consider serving beside me. Each of the events are Monday through Friday. We need 9 volunteers for each. Monday, March 9 – Assist the Habitat Restore on Wendover Drive Tuesday, March 10 – Framing a home (2905 New Pineola Rd, 28208) Wednesday, March 11 – Home Repair/Renovation – TBD Thursday, March 12 – Home Repair/Renovation – TBD Friday, March 13 – Interior Painting (705 Cantwell St., 28208) Saturday, March 14 – Siding home (2413 Ellen Avenue, 28208) Sunday, March 15 – Serving a meal for 200 at Urban Ministries Monday, March 16 – Friday, March 20 – Volunteering at A Child’s Place, Crisis Assistance, Second Harvest Food Bank in a variety of capacities. PLEASE join me during the week of March 9 through March 14, 2020 to share fellowship together. To Register for any of these events, please join Gregg’s Sabbatical Group on Realm and look at the events. I realize that not all will be able to give of your time or talents to support this effort, but maybe you would consider giving of your treasurers to support the various ministries who will be impacted by our serving together. If so, please place your gift in the offering plate noting “Gregg’s Sabbatical” in the memo line or log into Realm and give a gift under the “other” fund category with a note that states “Gregg’s Sabbatical”. All proceeds will be given to the agencies that are being supported during my upcoming sabbatical events. Together, we will open our hearts, be light for the kingdom, acting with justice, singing a new song, while we serve one another walking humbly with God and preparing ourselves for that Great Day when all will be one! Brothers and Sisters in Christ thank you for this opportunity to serve you at Christ Lutheran!