[We welcomed six new members and celebrated two baptisms on Sunday! From left to right is Josh Verity and Sara Folk holding their daughter, Ella Jane; Cathy Baker; Jeff & Ann Frymier; and Mark Slagle. The highlight of our morning was the baptisms of 7 month old, Ella Jane and her father, Josh. After the baptisms, Josh carried his daughter up and down the aisles as the congregation sang these words of blessing to them, “God claims you, God helps you, protects you, and loves you too. We your family love you so, we vow to help your faith to grow.” It’s special moments like this that remind us what a privilege it is to surrender all by offering our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness to Christ and his church. For the sermon, click here.]
Salvation, abundant life, forgiveness, mercy, guidance, wisdom, hope, blessings, thank you for all these gifts that you so freely give to us on a daily basis, O God. What expression of gratitude can we possibly give to you in response to your great love for us in Jesus Christ?
We can begin by following the example of the nameless woman who placed who few remaining coins in the Temple treasury. Like her, may we surrender all and trust you to use our gifts so that others may know of your healing and transforming power for our community and world.
As many of us will be reflecting this week on what dollar amount we will be giving to the church, lead us to decide on a level of giving that will best express our love for you and the degree to which we believe that you will once again use your church to bring hope and healing to our community and world. What a joy it is to be part of a church family like this that is seeing so many signs of your kingdom being made visible in beautiful and surprising ways.
Thank you for your church which makes it possible to support missionaries throughout the world. Thank you for your church which provides a safe environment for preschool children to learn and grow. Thank you for your church which offers a nutritious hot meal every week for the people of our community. Thank you for your church which serves as a home away from home for so many of our college students. Thank you for your church which helps to form life-long friendships that would never have been formed without small groups and times of fellowship and worship. Thank you for your church in which we will host a concert of uplifting music tomorrow night. These concerts always remind us that you planted us in this location for a purpose.
And so yes, Lord, we surrender all to you because you have surrendered all on our behalf. Bless the financial commitments that many of us will be making this week as we prepare for another exciting year of ministry.
For you so loved the world that you GAVE your only Son, who taught us to pray together…
“Our Father, who art in heaven…”