I drive into the parking lot and the snow has been removed. A nursery attendant greets me with a smile and warm handshake in the children’s wing. She stands in the hallway ready for the little ones to toddle in. I walk into the parlor and smell the fresh brewed Roasterie coffee. I top off my cup with fresh cream poured from a thermos pitcher. The sound system hums as the microphones and hearing assist devises are set out. The bread sits on the table and the cups are filled. The soprano sax and the upright bass are practicing Jesus Loves Me, while Paul leads from the piano. Service chairs arrive early to get the bulletins ready to hand out at the door and Barb’s team plates cookies. All is ready.
Week after week, I take this all for granted. But at year end, I pause to reflect on how precious a gift is church. Week after week, it stands ready to graciously proclaim hope, love, peace. Week after week, this 98 year old community of faith embraces people hungry for meaning and purpose and new life with the hospitality of the holy one of heaven. It’s overwhelming when I stop and think about it. Whether it is worship on Sunday, Boy Scouts on Monday or AA on Saturday, lives take on the shape of God’s character because we open our doors.
Dave and I will make a year end, over and above, gift to the church this year. It is our way of saying thank you to all of you for being that place where lives intersect and grace is present. With joy, we offer God gratitude. I invite you to join us.
Grace and peace,