Awareness Days and Weeks…
Have you ever checked the website for National and International Awareness Days and Weeks? One can find a treasure of interesting information and history around how these days and weeks got started and how you can get involved. I’ve learned there is a distinction made between national days and awareness days. Usually awareness days are health related and often help to raise awareness around such things as cancers or illnesses. Their purpose is to raise awareness and collect money for various organizations. National days generally have a fun or quirky side to them as they are staged by commercial organizations to help promote their products and services. But they can have a serious side to them as organizations or companies often receive donations to be given various charities. And then of course let’s not forget the International Awareness Days and Weeks.
The choices are many. Get your tongue wagging for International Mother Tongue Day on February 21. You maybe missed Dignity Action Day on February 1 or British Yorkshire Pudding Day on February 2. But you can still get involved in Safer Internet Day on February 11 or World Thinking Day on February 22. Let’s not forget the individual weeks in February that beckon us to increase our awareness of essential causes. February 2-8, for example, is Bramley Apple Week; 7-14 is Marriage Week and Have a Heart for a Chained Dog Week; 10- 14 is International Friendship Week; 10-16 is Go Green Week and International Act of Kindness Week. Of course, lest we forget 16-22, International Flirting Week or my favorite (mark your calendars) 9-15, National Pancake Week.
Wow, what a challenge. Way too much to celebrate and remember: far too many causes—some worthy of our consideration, others meriting our total disregard; some interesting and noteworthy, others in the category of complete nonsense. Perhaps the time has come for us to forget this weekly and monthly awareness thing. Instead, I was reminded again this past weekend at the Wisconsin Ridder Church Renewal event that following Christ means one end game: faithful and fruitful missional living demonstrated personally and corporately. Compelled by the love of Jesus, my entire life becomes missional in who I talk to when I shop for groceries, or work with on a community project, or cross the street to help a neighbor scoop the snow or welcome home my wife when she returns from Utah. All areas of my life are subject to His reign, not only to “go and make disciples” but to be involved in the reign of His kingdom to the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized. Jesus was intentional in how he reached out as a friend to sinners, or healed the broken or pursued the disconnected to connect them with the Father. Let’s live each day embracing the mission of God, doing our very best to do ministry and mission differently–regardless of the day or week or month–to join God on His mission to reconcile the world to Himself. The world tries to clutter up our already busy lives with various awareness issues—some good, some bad—but we have a responsibility to live our lives with the meaning and purpose God created for us – to be on mission in seeing others through God’s eyes.
“From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, ‘Be reconciled to God.’ He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
(II Corinthians 5:16–21)
-Wayne Van Regenmorter
11: Staff Meeting/Camp Manitoqua
Wisconsin Classis Servant Team Meeting/First Reformed Church, Oostburg, WI
12: Coaching, Conference Call
13: Meeting/Beecher, IL
14: Go-To-Meeting Great Lakes/Synod of Mid-America Ridder
15: Chicago Classis Meeting/Downers Grove Community Church/Downers Grove, IL
16: Installation of Ron Citlau/Calvary Reformed Church/Orland Park, IL
17: President’s Day
18: Illiana-Florida MLT/Executive Team Meeting/Faith Church/Dyer, IN
Synod Executive Team Conference Call
19: KEZ Conference Call
Travel to Florida
20: Florida Meetings
21: Meeting/Reformed Community Church/Venice, FL
Meeting/West Coast Church of the Cross/Sarasota, FL
22: Leadership Retreat/First Reformed Church/Tampa, FL
23: Travel to St John, IN