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Why I Give

Why I Give

I was asked to share what it means to be able to support our church through the giving of my money, time and service to our ministries.

Throughout the 25 + years that I have been a member of the UMC in Stow, I have come to realize that this congregation is my family, and in a family, everyone contributes what they can, and supports one another in whatever ways possible- through the good, the bad, and yes, sometimes even the ugly.

I give of my money because I strongly believe in the mission of the church- to grow in personal relationship with God, to nurture one another in faith, and to share God’s love with others, so that they may have a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Without financial support to pay the ministry team and the basic bills, this church could not exist and its mission would be lost.

In the past 25 years, I have given of my time and talents in a myriad of ways.  I have served as a Sunday School teacher, Kid’s church volunteer, nursery worker, VBS station leader, Bible study facilitator, church sign changer, and member of UMW. I have been blessed to serve in our church mission of the UMC Preschool.  I have organized many different community outreach collections, such as pillows, stuffed animals, books, and pajamas, for those in need. I support our food pantry with regular donations. I have volunteered to help organize or assist in special events, such as the Hanging of the Greens Christmas Party, special Sunday school events, and countless bake sales.

Why do I do all of this? Because I feel that if I am able to make a positive impact on someone, make someone’s day just a little brighter by what I may say or do,  share the love of Jesus,  even with just one person, within our congregation or in the community, then I am doing what God commanded me to do.

In the Bible, Jesus shared as the most important commandment:   “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:30-31

I give in many different ways and support our church family as an expression of LOVE for each of YOU, and for those in our community and in the world whom we are called by God, as believers, to serve.

I am convinced that it’s all about caring for one another and LOVE, my dear friends…. Giving and serving in God’s precious LOVE!

 

Written by a member of the United Methodist Church in Stow

Fallen Leaves

Fallen Leaves

I love autumn. I have always loved autumn. I love the changing colors. I love the warm days and crisp evenings. And I love, love, LOVE the smell of fallen leaves. My family will tell you that I mention how much I love that smell multiple times on every fall hike we take. I used to wonder why I liked that scent so much. I does not bring any specific memories to mind (other than remembering how much I love that smell). I does create a sense of calm in me, however, and the sense that I belong there, in the woods, out in nature.

I have come to understand that this feeling of belonging is simply a connection to God. Many of the Bible writers testified to the ability of nature to reveal God to us. Here are a couple examples:

Romans 1:20

 Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.

Job 12:7-9

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
 ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
 Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?

For whatever reason, it is the smell of fallen leaves that sparks that divine connection for me. As I walk, breathing in the smells of autumn, I feel loved, cared-for and content.

Is there a part of nature, scent or otherwise, that reveals God to you?

God’s Promise

God’s Promise

It seems that every morning there is some horrible news I wake up to. Whether it is the destruction from natural disasters that occur world wide or the ones that are inflicted at the hands of humans, it is hard to not ask “why?” Why do these things happen in nature? How can other humans be so cruel and inhuman? What can I, as one person, do to help? There are no easy answers and some questions have no answers. I do know one thing, God is in charge. I was reminded of His promise at work the other day. As I walked to room 200, I noticed a rainbow on the floor. It was just what I needed. It guided my path on my many trips back and forth. As it faded throughout the day, my faith grew stronger. I knew that although the rainbow was no longer visible, it’s meaning still was. We all have our storms and suffering to get through. Ours might seem small to the ones happening around us, but to God they are important and knowing He is with us might ease the pain.