Linda and Dick Goese: Faith Is Action“Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” Matthew 25:45.
These words from Matthew are at the heart of Linda and Dick Goese’s faith journey. As they put it, “Faith requires action. You can’t have one without the other.” Linda and Dick are committed to social justice issues. CHUM has been their focus and their passion. They believe that poverty is one of the key social justice issues because it encompasses everything else. It creates a lack of hope, which is stifling. CHUM works to break the cycle of poverty by providing shelter, a food shelf, services for people with health problems and mental illness, and a place for people to drop in for food and assistance. A major challenge is helping people learn to advocate for themselves. This is hard work, but Linda and Dick believe that when people have hope, it leads to action, which leads to change.
Linda and Dick have always felt that they get as much from their volunteer work with CHUM as they give. It has become, over the years, not about “them” but about “us. “We are all in this together. “
Both Linda and Dick have served on the CHUM board. Linda has taught at CHUM church for many years. She also has been on the board of Lighthouse for the Blind, and has been a reader there for twenty years. You may have heard her voice on the radio reading the Duluth News Tribune . Dick has recorded books for medical students with learning disabilities. They also volunteer at the Food Shelf.
Peace Church has also been a focus for their energy. For them, Peace “is a place where you can find a group of people who care about the issues so much and do things rather than talk.” Dick is currently the Church Moderator, a position he has held several times. He has served as Treasurer, and been on many committees, including Stewardship and Building. Linda has also served on the Coordinating Council, has taught Sunday School, and has served on many committees, including Christian Education and Social Justice. They helped create PALS, the adult learning and socializing group, because they feel that being a member of a church congregation should not always be serious but should also include having fun together to promote stewardship and membership.
They also put their faith in action in many other ways. Dick loves to cook. He has made meals for the Mens’ Retreat for many years. Together, Linda and Dick have organized a small group of Peace folks to make the Christmas food for Pastor Kathy’s staff party. Linda started a book group of Peace women and took it to the homes of members who had difficulty coming to Peace. She frequently visited people in nursing homes, accompanied by their three daughters.
In the midst of their full lives, the words “Be silent and know that I am God” remind Linda and Dick of the need to stop and listen. This, too, is at the heart of their faith journey.
Interview by Joan Peterson