Justice and Mercy
It seems all the talk these days is about justice; racial justice, social justice, restorative justice. With all the talk, our society may be further from achieving and experiencing justice than ever before.
And while justice is the cultural topic de jour, God and the Bible have been speaking about living justly since the beginning. Of course, in these few paragraphs, we can’t fully explore the Biblical concept of justice, but in short, living justly in the Bible seems to focus on three main things. First, equal treatment for all. We see this specifically in a passage like Leviticus 24:22, where God says the law should apply to both the native-born and the foreigner. This idea is rooted in the understanding that God created us in His image. So, per the principle found in Proverbs 22:2 – everyone is valued and equal in God’s sight because He made each of us – in His image. Another indication found scattered throughout the Old Testament of God’s desire for equal justice is His hatred for bribes. No one should get an advantage over another just because they can afford one.
The second concept within biblical justice is advocacy for some. While everyone should expect equal treatment, some often receive special treatment – namely, the orphan, the immigrant, the widow, and the poor. Often referred to as the quartet of the vulnerable, God calls this group out as deserving “beyond equal” treatment.
Passages like Proverbs 31:8-9 tell us to advocate – to speak up or to protect and care for those who can’t get those things due to their circumstances of poverty or oppression. God goes even farther when He identifies with the fatherless in Psalm 68:5-6, and with the hungry and imprisoned in Matthew 25. Finally, while all can expect equal, or sometimes special, treatment, generosity guides us in determining those relationships. Numerous passages speak to this, but Deuteronomy 15’s commands to live “open-handed and
generously” paint a clear picture of God’s expectations. The chapter defines how we employ the blessings He provides us in the service of others.
In our recently renovated entrance to our ministry, we have Micah 6:8 prominently displayed. Its blessing serves to remind us of what God requires of His followers and of our mission at Peoria Rescue Ministries. We’d love for you to come by and see it.
To DO JUSTICE means to treat all equally, some specially and everyone generously. It goes on to say LOVE MERCY – because God knows we must have a deeper motivation than doing justice out of duty because we won’t. Like the lesson from the parable of the unforgiving servant, we are to extend the mercy so richly given to us even when justice might demand something else. That can only happen when we WALK HUMBLY before our God, recognizing God has done justice to His son on our behalf. We have received God’s mercy. It’s a kind of mercy that has invited us into an eternal and abundant life with God.
Have you considered the requirements of Micah 6:8 on your life? They aren’t suggestions or good ideas. They form the central commands of how to live life and follow God. When lived in totality, they allow us to carry out and extend the kind of justice our world so desperately needs and longs for but will never find apart from God.
If you’re reading this, then you are part of the PRM Family. You are helping us DO JUSTICE, LOVE MERCY, and WALK HUMBLY with our God which in turn helps us “create pathways out of poverty through Jesus with our neighbors in need.”
But we need more. More folks willing to diligently pray for us, support this kind of Biblical justice with their blessings, and come alongside to DO justice with us – all for the Glory of God. Would you pray about discovering how you can directly serve with us? If so, check out our“ Involvement” section under our Explore
tab at www.peoriarescue.org.
Tips for Giving during the
• Gifts up to $300 are 100% deductible, even for those using the standard deduction. This means donors can deduct up to $300 per year whether they itemize deductions or not. Contributions by cash, credit card or check are eligible; gifts of stock are not.
• The maximum charitable deduction is raised to 100%. Previously individuals could deduct up to 60% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) for charitable deductions of cash (not gifts of stock). The stimulus package allows individuals to deduct up to 100% of their AGI in 2020. This is helpful for donors making major cash gifts, reducing their overall federal tax burden. In addition, donations in excess of AGI may be carried over to future tax filings for up to 5 additional years.
• Corporations have greater incentive to make charitable gifts. Previously, charitable giving for a corporation was limited to 10% of taxable income. The limit has been increased to 25% of taxable income, providing larger charitable gifts a greater tax and philanthropic incentive for business donors.
PRM May Match Challenge
Our journey continues. We’re moving from a service relief ministry model that predominately focuses on food, clothing, and shelter. We’re renewing our outreach to a services development model. This model emphasizes life transformation, healthy living, living wage jobs, safe, permanent housing, and a vibrant Church connection. As a result of this continued growth within our ministry, we have recognized a need to secure and provide some additional funding to continue the transition to a more relational ministry focus.
Our 2021 May Match Challenge will support upgrades that will improve our guests’ stays at the Downtown Mission. Our goal is to shift from a more institutional feeling environment to one that showcases an invitation to follow a new path. Our enhancements will include more energy-efficient windows, updated flooring, chapel updates that will move worship from transactional to relational, and more. Our intention at Peoria Rescue Ministries is to open doors to a new awareness of the Kingdom of God through human flourishing.
To begin this funding, we plan to present a Matching Challenge to our supporters to raise half of our $100,000 goal. We are praying God will lead businesses in our community to sponsor the matching commitment of $50,000. This assistance would allow us to challenge our supporters with the opportunity to see their dollars leveraged by the matching gift.
Thanks for considering a matching sponsorship and for ALL of your continued support of Peoria Rescue Ministries.
Cateroillar Matching Gift
This program is an incredible way for your gift to PRM to be doubled by Caterpillar. PRM is a part of this program.
The Caterpillar Foundation is proud to offer the year-round Matching Gifts Program to support our U.S. employees, retirees, and board of directors in their contributions to worthy causes. For gifts made in the year 2021 and beyond, eligible Caterpillar participants may request an annual combined total maximum match of $10,000 each calendar year to qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofits and accredited public/private PreK-12 schools or school districts in the U.S. to which contributions are tax-deductible. Please reference the complete guidelines and FAQs below.
CATERPILLAR PARTICIPANT ELIGIBILITY
Eligible Caterpillar participants are limited to:
Full & part-time Caterpillar, Solar & Progress Rail employees on U.S. payroll
U.S.-based Caterpillar retirees
Caterpillar Board of Directors
Each Caterpillar participant may request an annual combined total maximum match of $10,000 each calendar year (the gift minimum is $25).
To be eligible for consideration of the Foundation match:
Caterpillar participants must submit matching gift requests online by January 31st of the year following the donation.
Nonprofit organizations must approve all matching gift requests by February 15th of the year following the donation.
What's In A Name?
In one of his seminal works, William Shakespeare coined the phrase, “What’s in a name?” The saying, which began as a knock on a crosstown rival theater, has stuck around to modern times. When it comes to what is in the Barnabas Center name, there’s a lot more to the story than meets the eye.
Barnabas, the apostle that gave witness to Jesus Christ alongside Paul so faithfully in the Book of Acts and elsewhere in the Pauline epistles, is a name we don’t hear as often these days. The name’s root possibly comes from the Aramaic bar nehma or Hebrew bar nahum, which means “son of consolation/comfort/encouragement.” While his given name was Joseph, he is called Barnabas in the Bible, probably because it most accurately reflected his nature. It also spoke to the fact that Barnabas’ compassion and eagerness to help was a trait that he learned from his family upbringing. The word “name” in Hebrew means one’s breath (regarding its odor) and what it led you to infer about the person. In ancient Hebrew thought, a name was a person’s character. In calling Barnabas by this name after his generous land donation in Acts 4:37, the apostles had inferred the understanding that comfort and encouragement was not just something he did, but rather what was at the core of his character. Barnabas’ core motivation through Jesus Christ was to help and to love people.
The counselors working at Barnabas Center very much seek to follow this same pattern. Just like the Jewish convert that ministered to those in need alongside the apostle Paul, what they are doing provides comfort, encouragement, and consolation, all the same. They do this work, not because of the financial reward but because it’s a calling. The comfort Barnabas Center counselors bring to community clients and our renewal program students is rooted in Jesus Christ, the same as Barnabas. Using encouraging love, founded in truth and grace (Jn 1:17), our counselors help their clients find a Holy-Spirit led balance between the scriptural truth of God’s commands alongside the grace that shows compassion and empathy for human suffering and brokenness.
As with many things in life, balance is the key. Too much tough love and our guests can negatively become self-condemning and hopeless. Too much soft love, and they fall captive to self-sabotaging and God-dishonoring patterns of sin and dysfunction that leave them hopeless as well. This Spirit-led balance is where the true comfort, peace, and joy are found. It’s not about person-centered wholeness. It’s about Christ-centered wholeness that facilitates a healed relationship between our clients and God, self, others, and creation.
What’s in a name? As it turns out, quite a bit.
Director of Counseling
The Good, the Bad, and the Good
Yay! it is springtime at the mission. The sun is out, the air is warming up, and our men are free to move around the country (to borrow from an airline ad campaign). In all sincerity, the diversity we see is surprising. We receive men from all over the country, and many times we have men from around the world.
Past mission guests include men from countries such as Mexico, Canada, Russia & China, to name just a few.
This time of year has another occurrence that is not so pleasant. It is disconnection and eviction notice season. Most people who have fallen behind on their rent or utilities know that additional financial stress comes with spring. This fact may translate to new faces joining us here, and possibly some old ones.
Job opportunities are more plentiful in the spring and summer. These sometimes turn into permanent hire positions for our guests. While we usually have a rise in our overall attendance, the men’s mood improves, and optimism prevails.
One constant thing is the blessing of a very generous community of individual donors, prayer warriors, local churches, and community groups. Their dedication aids the transition from winter coats, hats, gloves to summer wear, extra bottles of water, and all the other seasonal needs that arrive in this renewal time. We cannot thank them enough.
We are excited that we have more opportunities to share the love of Jesus with so many new men every day. Each encounter is exciting, rewarding, and hopeful, thanks to those who partner with us at the Peoria Rescue Ministries. We could not reach our men with the wonderful opportunities and incredible variety of supplies we can offer if it were not for you!
Thank you, and God bless you!
Senior Director of Men’s Ministries
Nov - Jan By The Numbers
99,800 Pounds of Food Distributed to the Community
8,334 Nights of Lodging Provided
11,019 Clothing Items Provided
143 New Client Visitors at the Empower Life Center and Barnabas Center
1,168 Hours of Counseling
9 Commitments of Faith & Following
For the continued work to clear hurdles for 1212 Community House
That housing and work would be provided as needed for clients
For an atmosphere of peace and an attitude of community among the men & women in our renewal programs
For clients’ salvation and spiritual growth
Wisdom and strength for staff as we counsel clients in difficult situations
That staff will be able to meet people’s needs with mercy, grace, and love