It Takes a Village (Church)
At the end of our worship service on Sunday, Kendra shared with us her plans to move in the coming month to take a new job - an exciting prospect for her and a sad time for those of us who have seen grow over the years, even decades. As we blessed her on her journey, her father offered thanks to our congregation for all the ways you have helped her to become the wonderful woman she is by quoting the old adage: "It takes a village to raise a child." I was struck by his words, because I have been giving this wisdom a lot of thought myself lately.
Here at Port Church, we are blessed that God has sent so many children our way. We often have twenty-five kids and fifteen youth in our Wednesday night program, and twenty to thirty kids and youth in worship with us on Sundays. Some come with their families, as friends of some of the kids of our congregation, or on the bus that we send out to give them a ride. Regardless of how they get to our church, they all come with needs - a need to learn about God, to be loved, to know they are safe, to be able to ask whatever questions they have, to have opportunities to serve others, to be a part of something that truly matters. Whatever home life these kids may have, they all need the church to be a home for them as well. After all, it takes a village (even better, a village church) to raise a chiild. We are responsible to God for how we serve these kids and what we do for and with them while they are with us.
In this new year, I challenge us to find ways to invest out time and devotion in all the kids that God is sending our way. Some of these ways may be things we are already doing, and we just need to make sure to do them for all the kids and that we are not letting any of them slip through the cracks. Perhaps some of the ways God is calling us to serve these kids are new things we haven't yet tried. Perhaps some of you could act like a grandparent or a big brother or sister for one of the kids who comes alone. Perhaps a group of you would take our kids out fishing or to a ball game. How can we invest out time and care in these kids so that their lives will be changed? I invite you to be open to God's calling on all of us to be the village church with a mission to the world, especially its children!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Forgotten Folks of Faith
Join us in worship over the coming weeks as we look at the stories of some of the forgotten folks of faith that God used to do amazing things!
Last Sunday's Sermon Snippet:
The Maid (II Kings 5:1-14)
"There is a reason for everything that happens." These words are offered up by well-meaning folks any time we face difficult situations in life, but sometimes it seems that bad things happen as a result of our mistakes or the mistakes of someone with whom we cross paths. Although God may not have had a reason for it to happen, God often will redeem the situation by making a reason for it - using a bad situation to create something good. Whether God had a reason for something bad to happen to us or if it's the natural consequence of sin in the world, it's hard not to question God or grow bitter in the midst of difficult situations. Did the young woman serving Naaman's wife bemoan her situation - abducted by a foreign army, carried to a foreign land, and forced into service in a foreign home? It's hard to believe that she would not have wondered why such things would have happened to her and why God had not rescued her. Yet in her difficult situation, she rose above her self-pity and offered to Naaman - a powerful general suffering from leprosy - the hope of God's prophet in Israel who would be able to heal him. God redeemed her suffering to bring healing to one who was willing to embrace the living God. We often wish that things in our lives had not happened or that things would have gone differently, but that is not our choice. What we can choose - like this maid in Naaman's household - is what to do with the time given to us in the situations in which we find ourselves. May we live in faith and share the hope and love of God with those who find themselves in life's difficult situations alongside us.
What do I have to offer God? What can I possibly do that would make any difference in the world? After all, I am not particularly rich, powerful, skilled, or talented to be special enough to do anything that really matters. Have you ever wondered what difference everyday kind of people like us can make? Join us this Sunday as we hear the story of "The Broke" whose offering made all the difference in the world!
Wednesday at the Port
Join us this Wednesday evening for a wonderful taco salad, even better fellowship, and classes for children and youth! To-go boxes available for shut-ins. Please let the church office know by 2 pm on Wednesday if you or someone you know is in need of a meal.
Living in Community
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, January 20
9:30 am - 2:00 pm - Office Hours
6:00 pm - Wednesday at the Port
Thursday, January 21
9:30 am - 12:00 noon - Office Hours
10 am - Sunshine Seniors
Sunday, January 24
9:30 am - Worship Service
"Forgotten Folks of Faith: The Broke"
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!