One of the best decisions I made during the past couple years was to become a mentor in the Kid’s Hope program at our church. Under the loving guidance of Gay Ingram, we have had hundreds of FUMCFW members travel to T.A. Sims and Charles Nash Elementary Schools every week during the past 10+ years, to offer support and encouragement to students. It is an experience I enthusiastically recommend to you! There is a recruitment period every September and I know that Gay is always happy to talk with you anytime of the year.
My third grader is a student at Nash, which is an absolutely beautiful building on Samuels Avenue. It was built in 1927 by Wiley G. Clarkson, the architect who designed our gorgeous Sanctuary that was constructed in 1930. Every time I walk into Nash, I try to remember this connection. And every time I walk the halls and encounter the students and staff members, I have a smile that energizes me from head-to-toe. Recently I had the pleasure of watching Mrs. Galindo, the principal, reminding a group of students of one of the important themes at Nash — being “bucket fillers,” rather than “bucket dippers.” When I asked her about these phrases, she loaned me the book that you see in the picture. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? was the school theme throughout the 2017 – 18 year, and it was read by students again this semester as a reinforcement to October’s theme of kindness.
This gave me an opportunity to talk with my student about ways that both of us can be bucket fillers. I confessed to him that I don’t always do a good job at this each day, and he told me that the same was true for him. So we decided to support each other by having a phrase that each of us would try to say every morning when we wake up. The phrase, as you can imagine, matches the title of my sermon this coming Sunday in the Sanctuary worship services: “I Will Be a Bucket Filler Today!” Now certainly, I am not so naïve that I think a third grader will remember this phrase every single morning. But I do believe that I can help reinforce this important theme at Nash by using that language in our sessions together and also in the cards and notes I give him during the year.
I love the way that this seven word phrase is sort of a kindred spirit with the beautiful language found in Psalm 51, such as:
- Fill me with joy and celebration again (verse 8).
- Create a clean heart for me, God; put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me (verse 10).
- Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will proclaim your praise (verse 15).
On this bridge Sunday between Thanksgiving and the season of Advent, I invite you to join us for one of our half-dozen worship experiences throughout the morning. If you choose one of the Sanctuary services, I know that you will be blessed by the music that Robert Stovall and Peggy Graff have selected to reinforce the imagery of Psalm 51 and the theme of bucket filling. And I am going to use a part of my message to express appreciation for all the educators who are a part of the FUMCFW family. It should be a lot of fun!
Dr. Mike Marshall
Associate Pastor of Leadership Development