Congratulations to the three winners of our student essay contest - Gus Berlinghof, Evan Dumstorff, and Dominic Millar!
The essay prompt challenged students to write about the most important contribution that Christians can make to society. The contest was open to all seventh and eight-grade students.
Gus, Evan, and Dominic will receive gift cards as a prize. All three impressive and insightful essays can be read below.
Thank you to all who participated and to our judges!
One of the most important things that Christians can do for the community is volunteering for community service. Firstly, this is because volunteering will make the community a better place for you and your neighbors to live in, which is what Jesus wants us to do. Next, community service will make you a better person, because it will help people who are less fortunate than you are. Lastly, community service will also bring us closer to God as a way of praying and reflecting. These three topics will now be reviewed in more depth.
The first reason that Christians should do community service is because volunteering will make the community that you live in a better place. It is always a good thing to spend your time improving the place that you and your neighbors live in. For example, you can pick up trash around your neighborhood to make it more clean, you could rake leaves for people who can’t do it themself, and you could plant flowers and other plants to make the neighborhood look and smell better. In conclusion, volunteering for community service is a great way to improve the environment of your community for your neighbors and yourself.
Another reason that community service is beneficial to Christians is that it helps people who are poor or homeless who need help. We should help them, because that is what Jesus would do. Some ways that you could help them are volunteering at a soup kitchen to help prepare meals for people who are hungry, or you could package vegetables and canned foods at a place like Care for Real to give people the food to prepare meals that they may not have been able to afford. There are a lot of ways for Christians to help people in need with community service.
Lastly, you should do community service because it is a way to reflect and pray. It is a great way to become closer to Jesus. Community service provides plenty of time to reflect on what God would want you to do and how you could become closer to Him. Doing what Jesus did, by helping the community and helping other people, is a great way to become closer to Him, which is something we need, because He wants to have a personal relationship with us. In summary, community service is a great way to pray and get closer to God.
To wrap things up, community service is an important thing that all Christians should do. Community service contributes so much to the world and it isn’t hard to do. There are many reasons that community service is important. It helps make the community a better place for everyone to live in. It helps people who are less fortunate to get food and shelter. Finally, it is a great way to reflect and pray and get closer to Jesus. In conclusion, community service is one of the most important things that Christians can do for the community.
In my opinion I think that helping others regardless of their religious beliefs or other circumstances is one of the most important contributions that Christians can make to society. I say this because Jesus did exactly that and taught people to do that as well. Helping others also has a direct impact in a bunch of people’s lives. Helping others is for everyone, everyone can help one another regardless of religion or other means. So, this makes helping people the most universal and useful thing a Christian or anyone can do.
A good example of a doable service that you can do to help others is donating food to a food drive or creating your own food drive! Donating to a food drive helps a lot of people get food and feed their families. This is an easy way to help others and still make an impact but not doing that much work. Creating a food drive is a whole different story, this will take a lot more work, but it will be worth doing because of the amount of people you can help. Both actions can affect any and everyone not just Christians.
Another action that people can do is donating your old clothes to homeless shelters or to a place like Salvation Army. Doing this can help a lot of people in need and give them nice clothes that are good and something they can be proud of. This way is easy to do because the clothes that you are donating are clothes that don’t fit you so it’s a win-win. Donating anything can make an impact and give kids or anybody from any background, something nice to wear.
The reason I chose this topic was because I live in a very diverse neighborhood full of different beliefs and religions. This means I meet a lot of people with different religions and beliefs. Because I’ve met so many different people, I think that if they were struggling, I would help them just like how I would treat anybody else.
Something that I did myself was me and my family helped settle a refugee family from Afghanistan into Chicago. They didn’t speak our language, had different beliefs and many other differences. We helped get them transportation, shelter, furniture, and many other things. This couple even had a baby, so we got some of our friends to donate old toys, cloths ect. We found them an apartment to live and raise their kid in. We also furnished their apartment and got them settled in eventually. This is a good example of helping people out even though they had differences we still helped them to move in and start their life in Chicago.
In conclusion we should be helping everyone get on their feet. Because there are more people that don’t believe in Jesus than people who do. So, helping people out that don’t believe the same things as us is helping most of the world if you think about it. That is why I believe that helping others regardless of their religious beliefs or other differences is the most important thing that Christians can do for our society.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” This is the opening sentence to the Bible that starts the creation story where God creates the world we live in and the animals that we befriend. The creation story describes one of God’s greatest accomplishments, second only to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The world we live in is a gift from God and I am afraid we have neglected the world we live in. Trash piles up on land and in the oceans. Smoke fills our skies. Damage to the environment has greatly increased over the past 200 years. As Christians, we especially can show love for the world we live in and that God has gifted to us.
The first reason that we, as Christians, can especially show love to the environment is that we know God has created the world for us. Every single pizza you eat, hamburger you consume, and taco you devour is, in some part, from nature. God created nature and therefore provides your food. This allows Christians to appreciate the world around them a little more than a non-Christian would be able to. God creating the world for us is a big reason to help the environment as a thank you to God. The world that God has gifted us provides for our needs and we should be thankful to God by taking care of the environment.
People’s needs are provided for by nature and the environment. A fisherman’s livelihood depends on the environment. If the environment is not taken care of it could cause the fisherman to struggle. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus describes a story in which he separates everyone on earth into two groups. The first group helped others and is let into heaven because in doing so they helped Jesus. The second group is kept from heaven because they refused to help others. Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” This teaches us to help others and that in doing so you help Jesus. Therefore, if you help the environment and the fisherman you help Jesus.
Helping the environment is a great way to help others and thank God for the world we live in. When you help the environment, you are being a light to those around you who do not believe in the Lord. Helping the environment is something that can be used to spread the Word of God to those around us. Spreading the Word of God can cause others to help the environment, help others, and love Jesus. These people will then spread the Word of God leading to everyone helping everyone and a loop of people loving God, teaching others to love God, and helping the environment.
Helping others, helping Jesus, thanking God for the world we live in, and spreading the Word of God to those who have not heard God’s Word: These are all reasons for why helping the environment is one of the most important things that Christians can do. We should all be striving to help the environment and those around us.
Statement of Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, in Response to the Illinois Attorney General Report