Last Sunday night we invited the Honorable Judge Loretta Rush from Superior Court 3 to speak to our church family. She presides over most of the juvenile cases in our county (Tippecanoe County in Indiana) and therefore is on the front lines of much of the sadness, heartache, and abuse that occurs in our town. I am a firm believer in building relationships with as many community leaders as possible. We benefited from Judge Rush’s presentation in three distinct ways:
Listen to the audio: Judge Loretta Rush at Faith Church, March 2012
We learned about some of our greatest community needs.
Judge Rush was armed with a battery of statistics about the amount of child abuse and neglect taking place in our county. It is truly stunning and sobering to hear about the brokenness that exists all around us. For example, she told about the growing number of infants who go through withdrawal as soon as they are born because of mothers abusing drugs while pregnant. She discussed children taken from their parents’ homes in the middle of the night who cannot even take their blanket because it tests positive for some illegal substance. We sat dumbfounded as Judge Rush spoke about the creative ways parents devise to harm their children.
We were reminded to pray for those on the front lines.
I honestly wonder how people like our judges, prosecutors, police, firefighters, and each member of our judicial system cope with the level of brokenness they encounter every day. Their commitment to serve our community is commendable. I hope everyone in our church family will redouble our efforts to pray faithfully for these public servants. It is easy to forget the challenges these faithful men and women face each day on our behalf. Let’s ask the Lord to give them strength and grace as they accept some of the most challenging ministry opportunities in our town.
We were invited to find more ways to make a difference.
Judge Rush reminded us that she had given a similar presentation to our congregation six years ago. The good news is that since that time many people in our church family have stepped up and found ways to serve and minister to people in our community who are hurting. They are involved in opportunities such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Parent Mentor Program, Community Foster Care, adoption, and more. I am thankful for community leaders who are wide open to faith based people and organizations participating in addressing social needs in our town. Judge Rush repeatedly spoke about ways we can use our faith as an acceptable and necessary aspect of our ministry to others.
Joining the conversation — What’s Next?
What steps would like to see us take next as we seek to meet needs in the community in which God has placed us?