Depart to Serve

Dear Friends of Kenilworth Union Church:

depart to serveThese words are inscribe inside the entrance to our sanctuary and positioned to be clearly viewed by all who exit through the main door.

My guess is that these words may have, in some sense, been meant to echo George Eliot’s quote on the inside of the Dexter Gate at Harvard University “depart to serve better thy country and thy kind” but that the first three words of the phrase more aptly express the Biblical intent we Christians ought remember.

The Bible reminds us over again to use the gifts God has given us to serve others in love: to serve the poor, to work hard to help the weak, to be generous to the needy, to care for the widow and the orphan, to defend the oppressed, to “not love with word or speech but with action and truth” (1 John 3:18)

Through our Youth and Adult Mission Trip Programs, Adult Haiti Mission, IMPACT, and Quest, our Church strives to live out the action and truth John writes about in his first epistle.

Adults have an opportunity to participate in hands-on mission work through the Haiti mission. Since 2010, Kenilworth Union Church has sent five mission teams to serve the poor and suffering, the widow and the orphan in Haiti. An information session about Kenilworth Unions’ work in Haiti will be held on May 19 at 7 p.m. in the library and our next Haiti mission trip is planned for November 11-18, 2015. Please prayerfully consider if God is calling you to join this year’s mission team.

In June, approximately 75 teens and their adult leaders will spend a week on the IMPACT mission trip to Sumpango, Guatemala. The IMPACT mission trip program begins long before departure to a foreign land. Since January, the teens have prepared for this trip by meeting at Church on Sunday evenings to learn about how to love and serve one another in family, community and the larger world. They have explored the differences between self-righteous service and true service, and discovered how to recognize the “hidden” service opportunities we face every day. They have practiced serving the poor, hungry, lonely, elderly and infirm close to home through a wide array of service projects. They have prepared for a mission trip on which they will be the hands and feet of Christ in the world, serving families who have been crippled by poverty and its related injustices: disease, malnutrition, illiteracy, shame, disgrace. Please join us on May 17 at the 10:30 am worship service to commission the IMPACT team for its sacred work in Guatemala.

In February, nine adults and junior high youth spent three days on the Quest mission trip to Hollywood to help the hungry, the poor and the oppressed and to better understand the challenges they face in American cities.

When I google “word origin mission”, the result is a reminder of our calling


mid 16th century (denoting the sending of the Holy Spirit into the world): from Latin missio(n-), from mittere ‘send.’

Each of us is blessed, called and sent to serve in the world not by our own whim or desire, but by the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us and guides us.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

Silvi Pirn
Director of Youth Ministry
Haiti Mission Leader