Saying Goodbye to Friends

Saying Goodbye to Friends

Some people lose friends to death, we lose friends to distance. Your friends leave at a dizzying rate when you live in a large city. They use the city for what they need: a promotion, some exposure, a challenge, or an education. Then they leave to live in a place that is easier and cheaper. Of course, they are trading the culture of the city for fast-food and the life-sucking monotony of the suburbs, but I'm not bitter! You're bitter! 

A Guide for Reducing Anxiety

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Do you worry about your place in life, in this world, in the body of Christ?

Do you worry about whether you’re in the right career or on a high-enough rung on the ladder?

Do you worry about being single or whether your future is bright or bleak?

In other words, do you worry if you’re living out God’s will for your life or if you’re missing out?

God wants you NOT to worry! There are two categories in life that you can allocate everything to: Things you cannot control, and things you can control.

Let God take care of the things you cannot control

Focus on the things you CAN control, and let God take care of the rest. In doing so, you are exercising your faith and trust in God! You are opening yourself up to see how God takes care of you every day with the things that you cannot influence, whether you are worrying about them or not. Luke 12:22-26 says:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"

This passage offers assurance that no living creature is insignificant to God, least of all his beloved people! What are you worrying about today? Practice giving God “the rest” by offering your worries in prayer and disallowing those thoughts to come back so that you can focus on the specific tasks you can control.

Prepare for the things you can control

The Bible provides great direction on the ways you can conduct your life that contribute towards a positive future; these are things you can control. Discipline your mind, your thoughts, and your heart to put yourself in place to receive God’s blessing when it’s ready for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 advises:

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."

Philippians 4:8-9 is a fantastic passage that actually teaches you how to discipline your thoughts and actions:

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

God wants you to be the kind of person marked by self-control, peace, patience, and kindness. You may not be able to control the timing of certain events in your life, but you can control your attitude and actions. Leave the rest to God.

Pray for peace and guidance

If you focus on the things you cannot control, you will be filled with stress and anxiety because you aren’t meant to control every aspect of your life. Live with faith that God is good and He wants the best for you like a father, and that he will bring the next good thing into your life. The serenity prayer can help you to start a conversation with God in which you take measurable steps to trust in Him:

God, give us grace to accept with serenity

the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things

which should be changed,

and the Wisdom to distinguish

the one from the other.

 

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it,

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.     

13 Ways to Volunteer in Boston this Holiday Season

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The good news of Jesus transforms every aspect of our lives. It changes our hearts to generously serve God and others. At Renewal, we believe that we should actively work to make Boston a better place for all of its residents. We want to dream about what Boston could be at its best, then work together to bring that to reality.

This holiday season, we invite you to serve and love the city through volunteering. There is no shortage of research in psychology that outlines the benefits of volunteerism to one’s character, emotional maturity, and happiness. Below are 13 serving opportunities available in and around Boston. Grab your friend, family, pet, or running shoes and get involved in these one-time or ongoing needs.

The first opportunity we’re excited to share is the Christmas Festival that Renewal is hosting for the families at Mary Ellen McCormack housing development on Sunday 12/17 at 3pm. There will be festive games, hot chocolate, Christmas music, ugly sweaters and other things merry and bright! We’re hoping to see over 100 smiling faces and invite you to be part of that! For more details, email us at RenewalConnect@gmail.com.


  1. CraftBoston Holiday 2017

    December 13-17  |   Hynes Convention Center

    The Society of Arts + Crafts

    Volunteers Needed: Set-Up/Take-Down; Registration/Ticket Sales; Preview Party Assistance; Greeter; Booth Sitter; Postcards & Marketing

    Support the nation’s oldest craft nonprofit! This event hosts craft artists from all around the country. Guests meet and interact with the artists who make handmade goods using centuries-old skills in mediums like ceramics, fiber, glass, metal, and wood.

    Link to Volunteer!

     

  2. Bach CHRISTMAS ORATORIO

    December 16  |  Boston

    Emmanuel Music

    Volunteers Needed: Ushers; Greeters; Ticketers; Concessions

    Volunteer during this performance which traces the events of the Christmas season from the birth of Jesus to the arrival and worship of the Magi. Volunteers are needed until intermission, and are invited to stay for the performance. Food will be provided.

    Link to Volunteer!

  3. 2017 Somerville Jingle Bell 5K Run

    December 17  |   Davis Square

    Somerville Striders Athletic Club

    Volunteers Needed: Race-Day Support; Unwrapped Toy or Gift Card to Donate

    Volunteer on Race Day to be part of an exciting and energetic event! Races are among the most popular types of events to volunteer for, thanks in part to the social and friendly atmosphere!

    Contact Paul Collyer for information about volunteering: BAEvents@aol.com

  4. Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts

    Ongoing Dates  |   Jamaica Plain, Remote

    Committed Long-Term Volunteering Opportunities

    Volunteers Needed: Marketing; Finance; Fundraising; Grant Writing; Website Development or Maintenance; Graphic Design

    Level Ground is a nonprofit that helps urban youth develop the skills to set and reach goals through the discipline of mixed martial arts. It primarily serves young adults between the ages of 14 - 24 who are exposed to a disproportionate level of violence, poverty, and lack of access to education. Volunteers are needed to help with the tasks of building and growing the presence of the organization in Boston!

    Contact Ali Fuller about volunteering: ali.levelgroundmma@gmail.com

  5. Youth Enrichment Services (YES)

    Ongoing Dates  |   Boston, Metro Boston

    Committed Long-Term Volunteering Opportunities

    Volunteers Needed: Track & Field Coaches; Career Mentors; Professional Committee Members; Gala Planning Committee Members

    YES provides affordable and impactful sports-based youth development and leadership programming, reaching low-to-moderate income children and teens in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan. If you’re seeking an opportunity to positively and personally impact lives, consider these adult volunteer opportunities!

    Link to Volunteer!

  6. Enroot Education

    Ongoing Dates  |   Cambridge, Somerville

    Committed Long-Term Volunteering Opportunities

    Volunteers Needed: Mentors; Tutors; Career Mentors

    Enroot empowers students to achieve academic, career, and personal success through inspiring out-of-school experiences. Students attend Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (CRLS) or Somerville High School (SHS) and are immigrants to the US. Many are from low-income families. Most are the first in their family to consider going to college. Mentors meet with their mentee once a week for 1-2 hours and receive training.

    Link to Volunteer!

  7. East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC)

    Ongoing Dates  |   Cambridge, Somerville

    Committed Long-Term Volunteering Opportunities

    Volunteers Needed: Cleaning, Sorting, and Distributing Produce

    EBNHC is looking for individuals and groups to help distribute bags of fresh vegetables and bread to members of the community. Distributions are the third Friday of the month and volunteers are needed between 12:45 pm and 2:30 pm. Volunteers will sort and clean produce and help pack bags. All volunteers receive a bag of produce to take home.

    Link to Volunteer!

  8. Budget Buddies

    Ongoing Dates  |   Chelmsford, Haverhill

    Committed Long-Term Volunteering Opportunities

    Volunteers Needed: Financial Mentor; Grant research; Fundraising and other special events; Community outreach; Child care; Marketing and Communications

    Budget Buddies helps low-income women become more economically self-sufficient and transform their lives by teaching them core money-management skills and pairing them with personal financial coaches. An hour a week of your time can start a woman in your community on the road to financial independence! As a volunteer coach, you’ll provide ongoing, one-to-one support for your client. Sign up for an informational meeting to learn more.

    Link to Volunteer!

  9. FriendshipWorks

    Ongoing Dates  |   Boston, Greater Boston Area

    Committed Long-Term Volunteering Opportunities

    Volunteers Needed: Friendly Visiting; Medical Escorts; Friendly Helping; PetPals; MusicWorks

    A most rewarding experience, you can volunteer to be matched with ongoing or one-time assistance to an elder in need! Visit an elder for conversation, music appreciation, assist with small tasks, or a pet visit! Time and company are wonderful gifts to give this holiday season.

    Link to Volunteer!

  10. Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

    Ongoing Dates  |   Boston, Quincy

    Committed Long-Term Volunteering Opportunities

    Volunteers needed: Program Volunteer; Early Education Volunteer; Special Events and Communications; Tutor for Children or Adults; College Access Mentor; Art Center Volunteer

    BCNC helps families through child enrichment programs, education and workforce initiatives, and community engagement. Volunteer to support your neighbors to reach their goals and become successful in Boston!

    Link to Volunteer!

  11. YMCA of Greater Boston

    Ongoing Dates  |   Boston, 

    Committed Long-Term Volunteering Opportunities

    Volunteers Needed: Job Training; International Learning Center; Housing Community; Summer Food Program; Financial Assistance

    Volunteer alongside Boston’s business professionals, industry leaders, retired individuals, college students, and many others to help individuals learn the skills they need to gain employment or other resources. Many volunteer opportunities are done over the phone or via email, and other opportunities take place in the Boston office.

    Link to Volunteer!

  12. Big Sister Association of Boston

    Ongoing Dates  |   Boston, Metro Boston

    Committed Long-Term Volunteering Opportunities

    Volunteers Needed: Mentors

    Join the sisterhood of more than 2,400 women who are getting #Girls2Great! Being a Big Sister is about being present, not perfect. It's about developing a rewarding friendship with a girl based on having fun, learning, and growing together.

    Link to Volunteer!