Do you know that faith and religious groups offer more than worship services, choral concerts, memorials, and education? Do you know that these groups are also very involved in outreach and social action to serve others here and abroad? Most have connections with a national board of ministries that provide opportunities to send financial contributions and in-kind donations to programs that serve those most in need. For example, the annual Crop Walk is organized by various faith groups to fight hunger and poverty globally.
Most, also, reach out locally, through food banks and serving meals at for example The Christian Center and St. Joseph’s Kitchen, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, cleaning up the Housatonic River with Berkshire Environmental Action Team and Housatonic Valley Association, trail maintenance with Audubon Sanctuaries, growing food in community gardens for hungry neighbors, promoting peace and social justice education with Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice, and on and on.
It is amazing what opportunities await you in these faith groups, no matter whether Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Islamic. Whether for religious, or social, or emotional, or spiritual, or even political reasons, it pays to belong somewhere. A church or a temple offers you more than I can say.
I embrace the slogan from Habitat for Humanity -- "put your faith in action." I suggest another similar slogan for those who are not sure
You are not alone. Reach out.
The writer is a member of First Church of Christ, Congregational on Park Square in Pittsfield.