Appalachia Service Project is excited to share the theme for our upcoming service year: Love Strong.
Our theme is based on Luke 10:27 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and Love your neighbor as yourself” (NIV)
This verse is a call to action urging us to live as people who love God with everything we have and who extend the love of God to all people in need, our neighbors. We love God when we live fully in relationship with God and our neighbor. We love our neighbor when we reach out with compassion to all in need.
This connects deeply with ASP’s core value of “accepting people right where they are and just the way they are.” When we accept all people, share God’s love with them and embrace them as neighbor – we become those who Love Strong.
When we come together in service at ASP we share experiences, stories and we share Christ’s love with each other. In this sharing, I believe we find ways to expand our understanding of God’s love by hearing the stories of another person and by considering another point of view. It is my hope that in our sharing, we experience more connection with God and with neighbor.
As this blog post was being written, each person who walked by my office was asked, “what does love your neighbor mean to you?” The answers and stories that were shared from my ASP colleagues are rich and faithful. Here are a few:
To love your neighbor means doing whatever it takes and never leaving anyone behind.
When we love our neighbor, we include them, we don’t just acknowledge them.
Loving your neighbor means loving everyone- no matter what.
These comments from my colleagues remind me that loving our neighbor requires action. We cannot simply have a neighbor, we must be a neighbor, actively reaching out in love. We will likely need to cross some boundaries physically, emotionally, spiritually, and geographically as we expand our hearts to love God and neighbor. In doing this we will transform our daily living and the patterns of our lives strengthening our relationship to God and neighbor.
How will you share love at ASP? What story will you share? How will your actions be part of the larger story of God’s love being shared?
At ASP we believe that each person is a child of God imbued with dignity and worth. We serve our neighbors in Central Appalachia with respect and love. We invite you to join us as we grow together as service-minded disciples who seek to offer love to all people with all we have.
With all our heart, we focus on our identity as children of God.
With all our soul, we mold our lives to share God’s love to all people.
With all our strength, we grow firm in our love of God.
With all our mind, we grow to learn more about loving God.
All this guides us to Love Strong through service to God and neighbor.
Director of Spiritual Programs