Matthew 25:31-46 calls us to actively engage in the world around us, so our faith comes alive and we wake up to new possibilities.
Convicted by this passage, the 222nd and 223rd General Assemblies (2016 and 2018) exhorted the PC(USA) to act boldly and compassionately to see our neighbors through Jesus’s eyes and serve those who are marginalized or in need — people who are hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, imprisoned, strangers, poor or oppressed in other ways and in need of welcoming.
When Rev. Liz Hulme Adam approached the session of Tabor Church about PC(USA)’s invitation to become a Matthew 25 congregation, she did so in stages, first by simply facilitating conversation around the scriptural charge.
She also shared resources from the larger church about the vision, and used preaching and teaching to prompt all members with the question: “What is a Matthew 25 church?”
“By the time the session formally addressed the question of joining this call, we recognized we were already living out our faith and mission in this way,” she shared.
Then it wasn’t so much “should we,” but how. After committing to the program in October 2021, the session embraced all three of the initiative’s principles.
They already had a track record of working to address the pressing problem of racism. They also had a history of outreach to the “least of these.”
“Continuing our focus in those two areas would bolster congregational vitality,” Hulme Adam shared, “as long as we also continued our commitment to spiritual practices and faith formation.”
As a small church, Hulme Adam feels their size affords agility.
“Through connections with school personnel, we quietly meet needs that come up, like tearing down a dilapidated porch and building a new one for a family in need.”
Earlier this year, the congregation raised $5,000 for Ukraine by partnering with a local artist who displayed his artwork in their building.
“We take this call seriously,” Hulme Adam concluded, “and continuously seek ways to take our living faith into our community and the world.”
PC(USA) Invites Your Congregation to Make the Pledge
Congregations who make the Matthew 25 pledge recognize Christ’s urgent call to be a church of action, where God’s love, justice and mercy shine forth and are contagious. They rejoice how our re-energized faith can unite all Presbyterians for a common and holy purpose: our common identity to do mission.
Becoming a Matthew 25 congregation is as simple as taking the PC(USA) pledge, tracking the impact of your ministry, and sharing your stories with the PC(USA) from time to time.