Wednesday, December 21, 2016

This is a happy picture

This is Russell, a longtime volunteer at the Sunshine Resale Shop. I share this picture to illustrate the generosity of CCSC volunteers throughout the ministry. Russell always has a smile on his face, and welcomes customers into the shop with hospitality.

Each day, the shop and two food pantries open with the volunteers gathering for prayer before beginning the day. They pray for our clients, our churches and our community. They share their own individual concerns. No matter the weather, issues of the day, or concerns of the world, these groups begin their work together with a prayer.

These volunteers are not one-dimensional. I imagine there to be contrasts between each in their theological and political approaches to the world. But these differences are irrelevant when we gather at CCSC. Do you and I have to agree on everything before we can work together to alleviate hunger? I hope not.

This is a small, but important aspect of CCSC. Our small ministry witnesses to the strength of working together across lines (despite lines, maybe), rather than using lines to separate us. The words of Jesus are powerful and call for much work to be done to build up the Kingdom of God. There's room for differences of opinion... and then room for us to pray together and work together.

Please join our team. We need more volunteers. As he's gotten older, Russell is not able to come to the shop as often. If you're willing to serve, I think he would share that chair he's sitting in.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Some November lessons

This past month, I was in three different CCSC churches: a Baptist, an Episcopal, and a Methodist church. I heard three fabulous sermons, visited with lots of good people, and left refreshed. Below are some of the messages I walked away with:

Hold a baby - If you're feeling despondent, confused or helpless, holding a baby will center you and bring you close to God. Babies need love and food. Love and food. Maybe all the stuff we worry about is extraneous to what really matters.

Say thank you - Say thank you to God for the goodness in your life, especially if things aren't going well. When life is chaotic and upside down, the best way to find your center of gravity is to start naming what is going right. Even if it's just one small thing. 

Share yourself - Share your strength, share your faith, share your time, share whatever is good and right in your life with others. This message was not preached. It is what I observe every time I visit this particular church. They are a generous congregation that oozes love and hospitality.

What did you learn in November? Are you interested in deepening your spiritual life? Visit some churches and take them on a test drive, if you don't currently attend a church. If you're a regular church-goer, add in a new spiritual discipline to keep yourself from becoming stale. The new year is almost upon us - make a resolution that could possibly enrich your soul.