(330) 673-7752 www.umcinstow@gmail.com
How do others see Christ in us?

How do others see Christ in us?

As we returned from our Mission Trip with the Nehemiah Mission in Cleveland, our team was asked to share the answer to this question:  Where did you see Christ?  I was touched by the answers of the youth and adults and they made me think of the various situations in which we found ourselves as well as the people we encountered.

One young woman talked about a family we met while painting their house.  They had had so many serious set-backs, yet laughed and spoke with joy, and that amazed our team member and made her think about how she would react to disappointments in her life.

Another member of the team saw Christ in another team we met at the mission from Mount Vernon and how they welcomed us into their fellowship even though we were strangers to them.

I saw Christ in the people we served.  They were, unsurprisingly, appreciative.  But what really stood out was their generosity.  So often those who have the least are the most generous!  The lady we helped obviously didn’t have a lot, yet she surprised us with watermelon and cantaloupe on the hottest day of our painting project.  It was delicious and so very humbling.  We came to give to her, but she gave to us—not only the fruit that she shared but also the love that she shared.  I saw Christ in her.  How do others see Christ in us?

The Good Kind of Shock

The Good Kind of Shock

I walked into our outer Narthex on May 22nd and was shocked.  Our youth (a.k.a. the Arise Class) had asked for suggestions for a mission project several weeks before.  I suggested the Bishop’s initiative, The 3 C’s:  supporting churches, clinics, and classrooms in Africa and Russia.  We had made this a special offering with the adults and had a less than impressive response.  Our Youth grabbed hold of The 3 C’s and decided to have a bake sale on May 22nd and invited the children of the church to help.  When I walked into our outer Narthex on that Sunday I was shocked by the overflowing tables of baked goods, candy, and even homemade dog biscuits!  I think the adults were too because our youth and children raised $355 through donations that day with more coming in the next week for a grand total of $408.  It was beyond moving to see the young people smiling and talking to members of the congregation as they shared about their project and drummed up business!  Thanks to our Youth and children we will be taking a check to Annual Conference that will make a difference in people’s lives for a very long time.

(Originally published June 6, 2016)

Learning from Our Youngest

Learning from Our Youngest

What an honor it has been to be the Director of Christian Education for the past 4 years! Although I concentrate on what I can do to educate children on their faith journey, I am always in awe about what I learn from them.

The Arise class took on the challenge of planning and holding a bake sale to benefit the 3Cs. Not only did they take time to bake, they also invited the prek-6th grade Sunday School class to join them in the dipping of items in chocolate. I know what it is like to have one child that age join me for for baking, much less six! My congratulations on their courage for taking this on! Not only did the kids help dip, they also were able to draw a picture representing the 3Cs that were added to the display board at the sale.

I brought my two grandsons to church that morning and they helped with the project. The following Tuesday, Logan was spending the afternoon with me and we started talking about the bake sale. I asked him if there was anything he wanted me to get at the sale, since I knew he wouldn’t be there. His reply, “Some of those dipped oreos because they looked delicious!”

Then he asked me if I knew what the 3Cs stood for. I decided to play dumb, which being around a 7 year old seems to happen naturally, and asked him to tell me. Logan went on to explain what the 3Cs are; Churches, Clinics, Classrooms. Logan touched base about each one and where they are located, “in Africa and somewhere else.” (They are in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Zimbabwa and Russia) Again, I was in awe of how much I learned and how much he remembered.

The Arise class, reaching out with this project, left a lasting impression on Logan, and I am sure, the other kids as well. The last thing Logan told me was “Make sure you leave some money because they need all they can get!”

Thanks to the Arise class for planning the bake sale and to everyone for their support of this important outreach mission!

(originally published June 1, 2016)