Who Will Care for the Orphan?
If You Are a United Methodist, It Could Be You!
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Feeding, providing potable water, clothing, housing, education, and access to healthcare for orphans and vulnerable children will provide the United Methodist Church its raison d'ê·tre for the 21st century and beyond. It will serve to re-unite and re-ignite the Wesleyan flame that flickers tentatively today. Who Will Care for the Orphan: If you are a United Methodist, It Could Be You is more than simply a title. It is an invitation to authentic Christian discipleship. Caring for orphans and vulnerable children is Biblically-based: the Bible commands its readers to care for orphans (often coupled with caring for widows and resident aliens) thirty-one times, as seen in this well-known but oft-ignored passage: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27). Service to orphans and vulnerable children is consistent with John Wesley’s two-pronged means of grace, consisting of the works of piety and the works of mercy. Wesley himself wrote these words to George Whitefield: “Can anything on earth be a greater charity, than to bring up orphans?” Who Will Care for the Orphan offers United Methodists an alternative to the bitter infighting that has defined, divided, and created deep divisions within the denomination for the past forty years. Suggesting that United Methodist must agree to disagree on some political and theological positions, this proposed path forward replaces internal debate with service to the least, the last, and the lost. Dr. Lavender, drawing from decades of pastoral leadership, personal stories, and extensive research, presents the compelling needs of orphans and vulnerable children around the planet, laying out the case that caring for these little ones is a key to true peace with justice.