I am writing this on February 1st because it represents a special day to me. I have also discovered that there are several more reasons to celebrate this day. To name just a few, today is National Freedom Day, National Dark Chocolate Day, National Change Your Password Day, and my favorite, National Spunky Old Broads Day! (I like to think of myself as spunky.)
February 1st is special to me for another more significant reason.
Four years ago on this day, I became a member of the FUMCFW staff. I am forever grateful to the search committee who recommended me to SPRC and to Larry Ammerman and Dr. Bruster who presented me with this remarkable ministry opportunity. I have the pleasure of working with so many fine folks and I am thankful for the patience and kindness of my Business Office workmates — Steve Fagan, Janet Ball, Ralph Green, and Mark Sorley.
And then, of course there is YOU, my FUMCFW fellow disciples. Words cannot adequately describe my joy and gratitude that I have for you! I have known some of you since the 90’s when I joined the church and became involved in some life-changing ministries that include Disciple Bible Study, Stephens Ministry, Sunday School, church committees, and mission trips to Belize, Costa Rica, and Kenya. There are also many of you who I have met in the last 4 years over a casual lunch, in a Sunday School class, a Next90 focus group, as part of the annual stewardship campaign, or greeting each other in front of the Welcome Center or in the garden. I have also had the pleasure of getting to know several of you during this crazy pandemic.
And just when I think there is nothing more that could happen to make me even more excited to get up and come to the office, I receive a sweet note of thanks or a phone call from someone telling me that they were thinking about me or find cookies on my desk.
All of these moments hold very special places in my heart and in my faith journey.
But what makes my heart swell in love is how you as a congregation have continued to show up during the last 11 months! True we are not showing up in person in most instances. You show up to make love quilts for our youngsters, make sandwiches for the homeless, and distribute groceries to those in need. You have shown up through phone calls of comfort to our homebound members, by being a part of a Zoom Bible study, by diving into difficult conversations on social justice or by giving a vote of confidence to move forward with a transformative building project. You are indeed living out scripture: Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth. (1 John 3:18)
Not only are you showing up, but you are doing so with generous attitudes. I cannot begin to count how many times I have heard over the phone or seen in an email, “It is our honor/privilege to give” or “Wish we could give more. We love our church!”
And so, with another significant special day just 13 days away, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude for all of the generosity shared in 2020 by our congregation. First Church has a big heart that beats strong because of the loving actions and attitudes of each of you. Thank you!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Director of Stewardship