The Baptist Center for Ethics and want to challenge each of you to help your neighbor by supporting a local social agency in your community during this season of Thanksgiving.

To that end, we’re launching #EthicsDailyLocal – an exciting initiative to empower people of faith to support their local agencies engaged in transformative work.

As we approach Thanksgiving, we can reflect on and pull from its origins as inspiration for this project.

The “first Thanksgiving” was celebrated in 1621 near the shores of what would become Plymouth, Massachusetts.

After a long winter with almost half of the Pilgrims dying from sickness, spring arrived bringing warmth and hope to those suffering. Native Americans, such as Squanto from the Pawtuxet tribe, assisted the Pilgrims as they began to settle into their new home.

As summer gave way to fall, the Pilgrims successfully harvested their first crop of corn. Governor William Bradford called for a three-day festival that would celebrate God’s blessings and their new friendships.

Much has changed over the last 400 years since that first Thanksgiving. However, what hasn’t changed is our need for one another.

We still remain a symbiotic people living together, learning from each other and leaning on one another. As much as we like to claim our fierce independence, we have all benefited from the generosity of others.

From food banks to family social services, men and women of faith rise each day to make our communities a better place to live.

We are grateful for their work, and we want to highlight local partners making incredible strides in their areas of influence.

All across this country, these local agencies and ministries are making a significant difference for the suffering and marginalized. They are being the hands and feet of Jesus right where they call home.

During the month of November, we are challenging and encouraging each of our faithful readers to support a local agency or ministry in your community.

As you make a donation with either your time or checkbook, we encourage you to post the name of that agency on social media with the hashtag #EthicsDailyLocal.

Also consider including their Twitter username (@___) and tagging the Facebook page of each organization you mention in your posts.

This is one way to demonstrate the positive impact people of faith are making in their communities.

BCE wants to inspire and empower the next generation of Jesus followers to engage in social justice, and #EthicsDailyLocal is one avenue for carrying out this vision.

Just as Jesus walked into local villages healing the sick, feeding the hungry and giving sight to the blind, his followers are now doing the same.

Let’s make a difference in our communities this Thanksgiving, remembering that we depend on the generosity and kindness of our neighbors.

It might just be me, but that sounds a lot like Jesus.

Remember, post your support for a local agency or ministry on social media with the hashtag, #EthicsDailyLocal.

Happy Thanksgiving – and let’s go love our neighbors!

Mitch Randall will begin his tenure as executive director of BCE and executive editor of on Jan. 1, 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @rmitchrandall.

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