Life Changing Ministry...Literally!
A couple of weeks ago I was teaching confirmation and I watched it “click” for one of our confirmation kids. I had a group of them standing around the baptismal font learning about what it means to be baptized children of God. We were talking about the promises God makes to us in the baptismal waters and suddenly the magnitude of these promises hit a particular kid. It clicked. Being a baptized child of God suddenly meant something and was relevant in a way it never had been before. I watched as if a weight suddenly came off this young person’s shoulders, a smile spread across their face and they exclaimed with sheer joy. It was amazing! In that moment, standing around the baptismal font, I took a moment to silently give thanks for the ways this particular faith community is changing lives…literally!
Around this same time, I asked one of our church members to do something particular to their professional background. The church had a specific need and I knew this person was the person to meet it. I also knew I was probably asking a lot. It wasn’t a quick hour or two and done kind of thing. When I checked back in with them about it, I was blown away to hear them say to me, “This project has been a blessing to me,” and then they went on to tell me how. In the midst of an unexpected turn in the conversation, I once again took a moment to silently give thanks for the ways this faith community is changing lives…literally!
Again, around this same time, someone walked into the church off the streets looking for assistance. I engaged in the usual conversation about grocery gift cards and our food pantry when the person said, “I know this is a church, but I have this problem…” At this point we sat down and they shared their story. I was able to speak a word of God’s love into their story where they had previously heard judgement and condemnation from the religious community. Sitting in that suddenly holy moment, again I silently gave thanks for this ways this faith community is changing lives…literally!
Week after week, I am privileged to see the impact Abiding Presence is making on people’s lives – both people in our congregation and people in our larger community. Thank you for the ways you make this life changing work possible through both your presence in our faith community and your financial support for our ministry.
This week we are asking you to please make a financial commitment to Abiding Presence for 2019. For those of you who have been around for a while, you will recognize this as our fall stewardship campaign. For those of you who are new to the church, this is the way we anticipate income for the coming year in order to responsibly set a budget for our ministry. We need to raise $60,000 in new income for 2019 to make our vision for ministry a reality. I hope you will join me in increasing your commitment to Abiding Presence for the coming year.
Additionally, this year we have a challenge grant of $5,000 that has been offered if we meet our goal of 75 new or increased commitments received by Celebration Weekend – next weekend! Please turn your commitment in online or on paper by this Sunday at noon. Next week our stewardship team will be calling households who have not yet turned in a commitment to invite them to be part of making our vision a reality.
Thank you for all of the ways that you are the church. Thank you for the ways you open yourselves up to be transformed in this community. Thank you for the ways you are being the hands, feet and voice of Christ to others in our faith community and beyond. We are the church together. As always, I am grateful for the privilege of being the church with you as your Senior Pastor!