What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?…For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead. (James 2:14-16, 26)
The good news is that the Allin Church is an example of the works that come from our faith. There are so many of you who, after receiving God’s blessings of grace, peace, and understanding on Sunday morning, share these blessings beyond the walls of this church through service, benevolence, and work. While The World does not always make space for our efforts in faith, it does not realize that our faith that is of Jesus Christ cannot be stopped, because faithful practice is the byproduct of our own worship and prayerful self care.
This month, we get to hear from church member, Kevin Mawe.
How long have you been involved with the Allin Church and in what capacity?
I’ve attended Allin for about 12 years. I’ve served on the Prudential Committee and as Assistant Treasurer. I’m currently serving as Treasurer.
What faith informed work do you do outside of the church? If it is through an organization, what organization? Tell us about this organization.
I’m on the board of directors and vice president of the Irish International Immigrant Center. It provides legal, educational and wellness services to immigrants from all countries. The staff and clients are equally remarkable. I focus on board governance, assist the Executive Director with special projects, and help with ESL classes. Our vision is to make the IIIC “Boston’s Welcome Center.”
I’m also on the board of directors and secretary of Three Squares New England. It’s mission is to foster awareness of food insecurity and run community events that raise critical funds for hunger-relief organizations. I lead practice rides in the weeks before our signature event, The Ride for Food, which is held in the Fall. Organizations, such as the Dedham Food Pantry, form teams that raise funds. The Ride has raised $1.6 million in its first seven years and our goal is to raise $600,000 this year for 18 organizations. For many of these organizations, the Ride is their largest fundraiser.
What is your favorite part of the work you do? What is the hardest part?
The most fun I have is in interacting with the staff and clients at the IIIC and in doing the rides for TSNE. The most gratifying part is in helping to effect change that strengthens the organizations. Especially with the IIIC, it is essential that we continue to grow a strong organization that can meet the needs of clients.
A lot of my work is detailed, computer-based work. Reviewing and drafting documents can be a grind, but is essential. Knowing that the issues we address are bigger and more complex than will be solved in my lifetime is daunting, as is the fact that there are other issues I care deeply about but don’t have the ability to address. The hardest part is learning the stories of some of the clients at the IIIC. Most of the clients have overcome significant hardships and now face new challenges. Many have made great sacrifices for the opportunity to raise their children in the United States. Too many have survived trauma.
What of your faith (scripture, practice) informs the work you do? What is the passion that makes this work important to you?
Matthew 25:35 is especially pertinent to my work – “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” I don’t know why I was born to such a privileged life while those I work for and with have faced such hardship, but I can share what I have with and for them.
My thoughts on Kevin’s faith and practice:
From the first time I met Kevin, I knew that, for him, faith was more than a 1-hour-a-week practice. He seemed to understand more than most the give and take of being a part of a faith community and community in general. As he introduced me to each of his children, one at a time, I saw playing out in them faith valued as a lifestyle of discovering your divine gifts so that they can be shared with the world. The great blessings they each have become to the world is a testament to Kevin’s deep relationship with God through scripture.
Working with Kevin through the Prudential Committee and, now, as treasurer has been a blessing for both myself and for the church as a whole. He is always deeply committed to all that he does here and that shows in his attention to detail though without losing sight of the faithful vision that grounds all of the details that allow for this church to answer God’s call as a place of grand welcome and generosity.
Kevin, your work with immigrants and food insecurity are two of Jesus’ greatest ministries. Thank you for sharing your Christian faith in such life-giving ways!
Peace, Pastor Cheryl
PS.. If YOU are involved in an organization or charity – or maybe you volunteer your time around town and would like to share with us this great work, I’d love to hear about it! firstname.lastname@example.org