10 Nov Opened hands, Opened Hearts…Changing Lives
With every day that passes, I hear more and more stories of “happenings” throughout the sabbatical. I imagine that will be the case for a while, especially with the Session meeting on Saturday. But for now, let me add to my list of “thanks” from last week. Sharon Grabner obviously stepped in and saved the day (plus Jane’s sanity) in the earliest days of the sabbatical when Barbara was sidelined for several weeks. It is such a gift to have computer savvy parishioners! And Sharon shared her gifts with all of us by getting the bulletin out and the email backlog kept to a minimum. Sharon, thank you!
Unbeknown to many (if not most) of us, there has been an ongoing saga related to the elevator and our annual inspection. Barbara has managed a very difficult situation with her usual grace, but even a saint’s patience can become threadbare. Please pray for Barbara as she continues to navigate this sticky wicket, and for the Session to have wisdom to know what to do. This has gone far beyond an annoyance—the county has now fined Calvary over $1800 for something that we’ve been trying to resolve for several months without success.
Katie Clay has been fingered as a co-conspirator in the Great Office Balloon Escapade, so yet another party planner among the Calvary faithful has been “outed.” Thank you, Katie! And, while we’re on the subject of my office, my thanks to Louie and Leon for carrying off enough balloons on Sunday that I can now see my couch! And for all the kids who weren’t here—never fear. Balloons still abound and the door will be open after church this week for everyone to share in the fun.
Speaking of Sunday, it’s Stewardship, and you know how I love, love, love Stewardship Sunday at Calvary! I’m afraid that far too often stewardship is seen as a real drag. “Here we go again—the pastor is going to be talking about money. Blah, blah, blah.” I hope that is not your experience of stewardship here; it certainly bears no resemblance to my own attitude or understanding of it. I love stewardship because I see it as a joyous celebration. On Sunday we will give thanks for another year of God’s blessings, another year of being the recipients of the never-ending gifts of the Lord who loves us. And we will celebrate the supreme privilege of responding to God’s extravagant generosity by offering our gifts and making our pledges for the coming year.
Every year I am humbled and inspired by the sacrificial giving of the members of Calvary—my brothers and sisters in faith who week-in, week-out embody the love of God. I believe this is one of the reasons that Calvary is such a joyful place of warm and inviting hospitality. Before we ever open our wallets, we open our hearts—to God, to each other, to neighbors near and far, known and not-yet known.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your gracious spirit, your commitment to be followers of Jesus, and the myriad ways you continue Christ’s ministry from our corner of the world. I’ll see you Sunday—and oh yes, come ready to dance!
Yours for the Kingdom,