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October 5, 2016, 8:00 PM

Find Your Purpose


文章的中文版本請看此網頁

 

“Find purpose, the means will follow.”

-  Mohandas Gandhi

 

October 4, 2016

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Time flies!  It has been around three months since I was elected the Council President of the Oakland St. Leo's Chinese Community.  I thank God for providing me with this opportunity to serve the St. Leo’s Chinese Community.  I grew up attending the Chinese mass at the St. Leo the Great Church and developed a deep root with the community, and this relationship is further deepened into love.  I am not praising the community because I belong here, but I am truly very proud of our community.  The parishioners’ passion and energy do not waver no matter how many people we have in the community.  Just like on September 25th when we had a community meeting, we had a great turnout on participation and parishioners opened up the dialog to share their thoughts for improving the community.  It is an undeniable fact that we love Christ and His community.  Though our community is small in size, but our love and faith can absolutely do big things for others.

Many religious communities face the same problems as we do – there are less and less people believing in God, and even less people are willing to invest time or effort in their spiritual development, which concludes to a decrease of participation in churches.  Whether it is an English parish or Chinese community, we are depressed to see similar situations.  When I first started my work as the Community President, I saw the “decrease of participation in churches” as my highest priority and immediately wanted to tackle the problem.  When I dug deeper into this problem, I found that everywhere I went was a dead end.  I couldn’t even determine where to begin.  After serving the community in this role for the past three months, for some reason (God’s help maybe?) two concepts naturally came to me:

1) People are the core of a community.  Many people with the same goal gathered together, to work and to contribute can make a community thrive.

2) God is the root of a Christian community!

Under the same logic:  1) People are the core of a community; 2) God is the root of the Christian community; it means that the thriving of Christian community requires the unity of people to contribute to the common goal, with God as the root!  I finally understand that I omitted the most important component in looking at the problem, and that is to look at the purpose (or the root) of our community!

If our Christian’s mission is to develop faith and spread the good news, our community is here to support our members to achieve their mission.  We must do our best, and help others to do their best in developing our “root”, to let others understand who Jesus Christ is through our own behaviors and actions.

The direction of a community is not something that can be understood overnight, nor it could be determined only by one community meeting.  As long as we have faith in our God, our community, and our council, I am very positive that we will all get to our end goal together.  A road does not exist before someone builds it; once it’s traveled the road is there.  A sea is not without storms and large waves, but with God as our companion, we do not fear.  I truly believe that if we do not give up in walking the path of God and to fulfill our mission as a Christian, our community will just grow naturally.  Quoting from Mohandas Gandhi, “Find purpose, the means will follow,” so as long as we don’t forget that God is our purpose and our root, the means of building the community will follow.

 

Thanks be to God.  Praise the Lord!

 

In Christ,

Helen Ma

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