Our Abundant Blessings, Larry Rollstin , August 2017

Some years ago, the Juan Tabo Congregation in Albuquerque saw a need to help persons who walked through the doors of the sanctuary and asked for help (usually in the form of a few dollars) for various reasons. The oblation fund by definition is held exclusively for members and requires an administrative process. These friends were not members and their need was immediate. Most of the time these needs were met out-of-pocket with no record of such help and sadly to say at other times the request was refused.

Some fewer years ago, it was proposed that we fund a separate account to which congregational contributors could give and from which walk-throughs could be helped to meet a specific and immediate funding need. Our congregation designated this funding account Compassionate Outreach.

A couple of years ago, the congregation took action to make another commitment step along this
journey to reaching out to friends and strangers in need – we made our Compassionate Outreach fund a budget line item. This business meeting decision (to me) meant that the body was truly committed to helping to meet such ongoing needs and was serious about outreach. This budget line item is generous in relation to our other commitments and we find that some help is given to several different friends during the financial year.

Probably the most important aspect of this whole ministry is that we recognize the courage that it often takes to ask for help. Equally important is to make every effort to preserve the dignity and avoid any embarrassment of those that make such requests (reference Mosiah 2:28-32).

I think that this particular congregational budget line item is a strong example of the Community of
Christ enduring principle of “Blessings of Community.”

May the Lord bless you in your ministry,

Larry Rollstin