My first Sunday leading worship services at Queen Anne was July 10. I want to thank you for a warm and loving welcome. I also want to thank Derek and Andrea for joining 100 other PNW United Methodists, including me, to promote the Nothing But Nets campaign at the Seattle Storm game on July 9. A big weekend!
The Storm faced off against the LA Sparks, but all of us squared off against malaria. Hundreds of people visited our display table, purchased T-shirts, picked up wrist bands, asked questions, and took information cards. Several people wanted to share their stories about traveling to or living in countries where bed nets are necessary.
About 20 minutes prior to the game, a few representatives from the PNW took to the court to hold a Nothing But Nets banner and promote the cause.
At half time our Public Service Announcement was played on the Jumbo-tron. And, during the game a lucky row of 10 people received a gift package with our shirts and wrist bands.
Evangelism is a sticky thing for many United Methodists. We are not comfortable talking about faith. Some of us are not interested in convincing people that they need to attend church or think and believe the way we think and believe. However, real evangelism is sharing good news, and sharing good news has nothing to do with getting people to think, believe, or behave exactly as we do. Saving the lives of millions of people, many of whom are children, is something important for our church. The fact that a person can send a net and save a life for only $10, less than the cost of a Seattle Storm admission ticket, is good news. The fact that we are compelled to staff a table like this because we believe that a world can exist that is better than the one in which we live is part of our Good News.
There is much in the world that seems too large and unwieldy for us to fix or even address. It is tempting to give up. Our Good News informs us that there is nothing too big or unwieldy for us to address because we do it together while empowered by a mystery that somehow manages to accomplish the “unaccomplishable.” On July 9, 100 United Methodists, including United Methodists from Queen Anne, wore shirts, talked with strangers, and raised $640 in direct donations along with the money raised from tickets sales and online donations, and all of it will go to purchase treated bed nets for families in need. A $10 bed net will cover a family of 4. This money will save lives and make the world a better place. How much more good news do we want? July 9 was a good night for evangelism.
Photos in this essay are the property of photographer Jesse Love and the PNW Conference of The United Methodist Church. Please seek permission for re-use.