I have heard and said, “ I love this new Pope!” While he’s a stellar role model, I see his actions as serving another worthy goal. Either intentionally or colaterally, Pope Francis is rebranding Catholicism.
Pope Francis washes the feet of women and youth! Pope Francis was named Person of the Year by Time magazine! The Pope ventures out disguised as a priest to serve the poor! When was the last time you thought “Catholic” and immediately thought “abused altar boys”? To the credit of Pope Francis, those horrible images are being pushed aside.
So much of public perception is created by media attention that we must, as Pope Francis has demonstrated, use that to our advantage. Many of our congregations provide free community meals.
Let’s make that FREE COMMUNITY MEALS! Put up a big sign, take a picture and add a short write up. Send it to the local paper. Even if you’ve done it before – try it again. This might be a slow news day. Here’s another thought – up-date the congregation and the whole neighborhood about Imagine No Malaria. Invite EVERYONE to save a child’s life. Get your awesome good works out there in print and on-line.
Do we want to be known for the challenges our church faces in its internal politics? No! The Pope has forced the public focus to shift. Together, we can do the same.
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Mary Foote was elected as Conference lay Leader in 2012. She is a mom, wife, and dental hygienist. As a member at the Hillsboro United Methodist Church she is active in many areas, but has a special passion for Hispanic Ministry and the English as a second language program. Contact her at email@example.com or (503)648-3072.