Outreach Without Overstretching

By Katherine Gaines

helping-hands                In our front room, there is a poster outlining our understanding of the Presiding Bishop’s “Jesus Movement” as well as a poster of what we plan to do about it, namely how can we reach our community where we are? This can be a bit of a daunting task for a few reasons. First, what is our community? Is it Oregon Hill or perhaps the Greater Richmond Area? Second, what can we actually achieve as five individuals located on South Laurel Street?

We have come up with numerous ideas, recognizing many needs in our area. The next step comes with deciding which of these needs we can meet and how to go about that. This seems to be the age old issue of service, outreach, and ministry: we see these needs, but how can we realistically go about attempting to meet these? What resources do we have? Do we have the ability to do this work, either in expertise, financial resources, or time? Is this need already being addressed elsewhere in the city? There are so many things to consider when thinking about outreach that it can be overwhelming. Indeed, by trying to reach all people in need, we risk overstretching and pulling a proverbial muscle.

The most important thing to remember is that the help we can give, no matter the size or scale, is much needed and will always be needed until all of God’s children are cared for, fed, provided shelter, and no longer suffering. That is where we at Grace-on-the-Hill can start: with help, no matter the size or scale.

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