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mentoring youth and adults. Patty and   opportunities that foster personal relation-  evidence of the Holy Spirit pressing us to
        Jim Shepherd shared their experience:   ships through which greater community   continue our journey into wholeness. In
        “When Patty and I fi rst volunteered to   transformation can occur.”       serving we become participants in both
        help with Agape’s children’s activities                                   the transformation of the world around
                                             These volunteer opportunities may seem
        one Sunday in 2009, we experienced                                        us and, interestingly enough, in our own
                                             to be something you or I can do for
        an approach to outreach that to us was                                    ongoing transformation. There is no
                                             others, a kindness if you will. But in fact
        both novel and courageous. Having                                         waste in God's economy.
                                             the act of serving others results in our
        just returned to Houston from living in
                                             own spiritual growth as well as fulfi lling
        another country with extensive severe
                                             our own calling to carry God’s love and   Upcoming Connection Opportunity: On
        urban poverty, we felt called to become
                                             grace into the world.                 January 15, David Hill, pastor of Restoration
        involved in outreach to children and
                                                                                   Community Church will switch pulpits with
        families living in nearby economically dis-  When we who've known the love of God
                                                                                   our rector, Clay Lein. Then on Martin Luther
        tressed neighborhoods. What we saw in   in Christ Jesus begin to turn our atten-
                                                                                   King, Jr. day, SJD parishioners are invited
        Agape was a missional, relational ministry   tion outward, when we begin to listen,
                                                                                   to serve alongside Agape in Houston's Third
        focused on transforming one of Houston’s   to perceive and empathize with the
                                                                                   Ward. More details to come. Contact the Rev.
        impoverished urban communities – one   needs of those around us, the struggle
                                                                                   Greg Buffone,
        life at a time. Our exposure to Agape   and pain, the hurt and senseless loss, the
        motivated us to engage in outreach   desperation of so many it is, I believe,

         Group photo after working on an Agape Gateway House project. Photo courtesy Robyn LaRocca.
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