March 3rd, 2016

 We are coming up on the Fourth Sunday in Lent, a season in which alms-giving and charity are emphasized. I’m speaking at the next ecumenical Lenten Dinner on March 9th (it’s at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation—a first!) and alms-giving is the topic. Naturally I have been pondering what to say. One’s first response might be to think that we give in order to help those who receive the gifts. But I’m convinced the practice is more about healing the givers. I don’t want to give the sermon away (plus it isn’t written yet) but I do want to make us aware of an opportunity.

Last Sunday the Session approved BPC’s participation in the effort to re-supply the library at Mzuzu University in Malawi. On December 18th the library was completely destroyed by fire. Textbooks, network servers and computers were lost. Students at Mzuzu University do not have the means to purchase textbooks or computers of their own; they use the resources at the library.
Now a joint effort of the PC(USA) Malawi Network and Virginia Tech are working to rebuild the library and replace what was lost. There are three ways to donate a book:

  • Go to the following online registry, look at the list of books, and purchase one. Books purchased on the registry will be sent to Virginia Tech. Once they have a shipping container’s worth, the books will be shipped to Malawi.  
  • You can donate a book directly. If you have used textbooks in good condition, bring them to church. There will be a donation box in the Gathering Space. Textbooks are sought for science and math, social sciences and humanities, resources and environment, health sciences, information sciences, and management.
  • Or you can make a donation. Checks can be made out to “Malawi Education Foundation” with “Mzuzu Library” on the memo line and dropped in the church offering plate. Cash can be placed in an envelope; just mark it “Library”.

Peace, Catherine

Scripture Readings: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

The Prayer List can be found here.