Earlier this year, our Stewardship Board decided to adopt the theme put forth by the United Church of Christ on their stewardship materials for 2023. The Board loved it. The Council loved it. I loved it. I still do. And I’m so appreciative of how it’s been embraced from the printed material for letters and worship to the videos. (By the way, if you didn’t catch the videos yet, you can still see them on our YouTube page or our website.) We’ve been looking around and giving thanks for the many ways our church changes lives in big and small ways.
Let’s not forget to look at our own lives. How is it that First Congregational United Church of Christ in Great Falls changed your life? Let me share a few of my own thoughts.
My heart and soul are continually brought to a place of gratitude because of the people I get to work with. A week does not go by that I don’t give thanks for the leadership of our church and our staff. They are committed, creative, passionate, thoughtful, talented and a lot of fun to be around. Because of our staff and leadership, my life and work are more meaningful.
Almost every year (sometimes twice a year), we welcome new members into our church. Their journeys are amazing and their reasons for wanting to become part of our church are heartwarming. The journeys often include something about us being open and affirming and how they experience that welcome upon first arriving. My heart is touched by their journeys and I have hope for the future. Because of your welcome and how it impacts others, my life and work is more meaningful.
Every church has a heart for hands-on outreach. Sometimes it’s building houses or feeding the hungry. I’ve seen our heart come alive through steps that have been taken to more personally engage the needs of the students, staff and faculty at West Elementary. Because our love of children and passion for public education (have you ever thought about how many educators and retired educators we have in our congregation?), this ministry with the folks at West is right up our alley. Because of your passion and compassion, my heart is in awe.
I have the best view in the room on Sunday mornings. I get to soak in the view of people who gather for worship and bring laughter, hope, histories of struggle and triumph, lives that carry bruises and healing, hearts that carry hope and sorrow. Every Sunday, the Holy Spirit weaves a tapestry of humanity right before our very eyes. It’s not perfect but it is holy. Because of you, my life is blessed.
How has your interaction with this human expression of God’s love been touched, maybe even changed? Think about sharing that story with someone sometime. It will be a good one.
Have a blessed week. Rev. Lynne