Friday, November 22, 2013


The big “thing” or fad on Facebook right now is the challenge for every day in November to write something you are grateful for.  If you all remember I challenged you to do this for the 40 days after Easter leading up to Pentecost.  And the interesting thing is that most of these posts are very general, in fact if I was to categorize them I would say they are: list of people, usually spouses or children; extended family; weather; money; jobs; you get the picture.
I have been challenging us on Sundays to share an grateful or giving moment we experienced in that week that showed God moving in our lives. I could give up on this, but I shall not…for I believe you are all experiences God.
The realization I have come to is that we are not doing enough self-examining.  As a society and as individual we are so caught up in our busy lives – in our technology that keeps us connected, in the mindless television that doesn’t miss an hour and in our 9-5 jobs.  We have completely forgotten how to really look at our lives and not only examine but see where there is room for thankful hearts.  We also in this world of connectedness get ourselves lost in the mindset of: “well mind isn’t important” 
BUT you are important! As is your story!  As is where God has helped you!  These things all matter.  No matter how “insignificant” your experience may feel, it not only matters to God but it could mean the WORLD to someone else.
On Facebook this week I also read this, it didn’t have to do with the November days of thanksgiving, but was instead a true story of blessing and encouragement.  A friend ran out of gas getting off an exit.  He knew he was low but was running on fumes “in order to get to a cheaper gas station” He thought he had enough but he was wrong.  It was kind-of cold as he began his walk to the gas station.  He wasn’t 5 feet in front of his car when someone pulled over and offered him a ride.  On the ride to the gas station he found out that this person was a traveling pharmaceutical sales person and was on his way to his next appointment, right across from the gas station.  After he filled the gas tank the young sales person drove him back to his car.  On the ride back, he found out that he was adopted through Catholic Family Services when he was a young kid and it was this family that helped him overcome some pretty tough challenges. 
God is a glorious God.  This friend has adopted several children and several who struggle each day.  His hope is that he is impacting their lives.  He also was very thankful to have had a ride instead of having to make that walk. 
His story is profound, his story is impacting other’s lives and I’m thankful that he shared it.  He could have shared he was thankful for strangers but instead he shared this beautiful story.  He could have decided that this story wasn’t very significant because really it only showed his own foolishness in running out of gas, but instead he let the voice in the story be heard.
Let your own voice be heard.  Examine your day and be thankful – be proud of your thanksgiving – that God does amazing and glorious things in our lives.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Each month we collect 2-cents a meal on the last Sunday during worship.  Our children going around collecting the change and with excitement bring it to the front.  I assume the older children understand what the big picture is to this, especially since I see some bring coins from home; but I have never given much thought to how the little children experience this.
Yup, confession of a Pastor / mother.  I haven’t really done a lot to talk to L about this practice, even when I remember to bring in our change.  Recently we were having dinner with friends who are also clergy and who have children.  At their dinner table is a house shaped piggy bank in which they collect coins for the poor.  I immediately thought I clearly wasn’t doing something right and should start this practice with our children before they get too old.  But as we were preparing to sit down and participate in their “dinner ritual” L quickly picked up on what was going on and wanted money to put in the house for the poor, adding that we should bring it to church on Sunday.  Later when we were home, she found a coin and asked if she could bring it to church for the poor.
Our children are incredible and they can teach us the power of God’s love every day.  Mostly out of the blue.   Things might seem like they don’t understand or cannot figure out faith until they are older but children understand more then we know.  They are truly gracious and generous souls. 
Sometimes the 2cents can feel like a “last minute” thing that we just “remembered” and some Sundays it is.  Some Sundays we may wonder why we still do it…but the truth is that it means more than just the food that goes to feed the needed; it means helping our children understand giving; it means reminding each of us that even something that feels like a chore can have meaning and a reminder that God works even in the ordinary. 
God is working in each of our Sunday services, present and through the Spirit working in and through all of us.  God is working to help our children understand, even if we adults fail to, the ways of love and grace.  Let us all work at giving to God with such joy our lives so that we may truly be working in generous and gracious souls to bring the Holy to all we meet.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yup...I'm Going there...

So usually I don’t go there, I don’t do stewardship campaign.  Partly because of two bad experiences and partly because as the Pastor I don’t like to know who gives what.  When I was in high school we had been attending a church we had decided to become a member of, after this we did not join.  They asked people to turn in their taxes and then “helped” you by sending you a statement of what you should give.  If you didn’t pledge that, that weren’t happy.  The other experience came when Russ and I moved to Rochester and started attending a church.  We had been asked to help teach a high school class but we could not become members.  On our third Sunday we were handed a box of envelopes, hmmm that seemed a bit soon and pushy.  I decided then, stewardship was not for me.
But here we are in the middle of stewardship season and I can’t help but think I need to write something.  You see Huron has had an amazing year, despite the difficult decisions you have made, you have grown in the number of worshipers, you have grown in the outreach programs and in our building usage.  We are an expanding congregation as families are bringing children to our Sunday school programs and our Monday night worship.  And prices of things are not going down.  In fact, with the price of gas and general living expenses most of us have had to change our lifestyle in the last few years.  This year, I want you to pray and think about your giving. Not because I am trying to pressure you into giving more or handing you giving envelopes before you are ready – but because I care about our congregation and all that we do. 
If we truly want to live into “continued ministry” and not just remembering our past ministry then we need to use funds to keep our building up (heat, electricity, ect…) and to keep our worship meaningful. We need to strive in every way to come together and pass along our blessings to others through the Golden Oldies, Easter Party and various fellowships.  We are an amazing family that comes together during trails to pray for each other, lean on each other and offer comfort.  Let us continue this by thinking and praying about what we can give to our church.