It has been a long time since I posted anything to my blog. We have just been too busy doing things around here! It has been wonderful being a part of an active church with an energetic and joyful spirit, but it has left little time or energy to write. I need to do better!
When our Lagrange District Newsletter arrived, the article written by our District Superintendent, Rev. Susan Landry, both touched my heart and made me think about the coming year and who we will be as a church as we continue to move into the future that God has for us. I wanted to share this, so that you can reflect on this as well:
Who Do They Think We Are?
One cold December evening, several hundred people gathered at a large downtown church in Winston Salem, NC to celebrate the Christmas season. Bishop Ernest Fitzgerald, one of our Bishops here in the North Georgia Conference, (the same bishop who ordained me Deacon in 1989 and Elder in 1991), was present that evening.
As the story goes, Bishop Fitzgerald had gone down a long hallway to help a small boy who was pushing against massive oak doors trying to get outside. The little guy was only about 2 years old and as he pushed, he was crying as if his heart would break.
The Bishop picked him up, thinking he belonged to someone at one of the Christmas parties. On impulse, he opened the doors and looked outside, spotting an old-model car speeding away in the darkness. Gradually, it dawned on him that the boy he held in his arms had been abandoned.
Phone calls were made, and soon the church was filled with people wanting to help in any way they could. Within moments, the local TV stations interrupted their usual programs to ask if anyone knew the identity of the little boy. The next morning, one of the city’s newspapers put the child’s picture on the front page.
Under the picture there was an article describing the events of the evening before. The article began with this striking line:”Someone trusted the church last night, and the church came through!”
Bishop Fitzgerald shared that story with the Michigan Christian Advocate back in 1997, because that phrase from the paper didn’t leave him. And he wondered more and more, if the church is still seen that way by the world.
Some 20 years later, I can’t be sure that I know what the world expects of the church. But I think it is important that we ask the question. Who are we going to show them that we are? I hope that we are still the place that someone can trust, the place that “comes through.”
I will always work beside you to make that true.
May Peace, Hope, Joy and Love be yours in this season.