Dear Grace Community,
I’m writing with some medical lingo: DNA, fasting, and well checks.
I don’t remember much of the scientific data about DNA from biology class, but I know that the DNA of an organization is the stuff that is at its core. The DNA of Grace contains lots of things. Jesus is in our DNA. Without God we would not exist. A connection to our neighborhood is in our DNA. The congregation met at Robinson Middle School for eight years in the 1940’s and is active there and at Hyde today. We are tied to this community.
Also in our DNA is our approach to starting new ministries. When someone comes to me with an idea of a ministry they want to see happen I say, “How do you envision this working? Will you help make it happen?” Sometimes the conversation ends there, but sometimes the person says, “Oh yes, and here’s a plan for getting people involved,” and the ministry takes off. Sure, we run it by the session, but it’s on the road. This isn’t how it works in all churches. In some places ideas must be vetted through committees, and staff, and study for long periods before they start.
I had two conversations recently that enforced this aspect of our DNA. One conversation was with Esther Cummins who is a quilter. She made a quilt with fabric from Africa. Katie Rhoads, a missionary we support, brought this fabric to Esther. After making the quilt Esther wondered about giving it to a refugee family connected to our partners at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). As we talked we imagined opening this up to all Grace quilters. I met with the Grace Refugee Team and a staff person from IRC and ran the idea by them. The IRC gives every refugee a blanket and would love to give them a homemade quilt. And like that, we have a new ministry opportunity.
The second conversation was with Capri Zimmerman who feels called to lead a women’s ministry at Grace. I’ve heard a desire for women’s ministry from others, and when Capri approached me all sorts of things fell into place. This new ministry is open to all Grace women and will provide opportunities for study, fellowship, and service.
The next medical term is fasting. The only time I fast is before my yearly physical and blood work. However, fasting is also a Christian discipline. During Lent some Christians will fast from food one day a week or fast from something else. This is known as ‘giving up something for Lent.’ The idea is to sacrifice and to consider Jesus’ sacrifice.
This year I invite all of us to fast from social media one day a week during Lent. I know that we don’t all use social media, but many of us do, and many of us use it a lot. Pick a day each week, and every time you think of logging in to an account, stop, and pray.
The final medical concept for the day is that of Well Checks. Well Checks are regular visits with a doctor to go over general health questions and concerns, not to address a specific illness. A few years ago I invited you to schedule Well Checks with me, and around a dozen of you took me up on this. Some of you drop by or schedule appointments with me, but I know that others of you aren’t sure about stopping by to talk. If there’s something about your faith, or life, or the church that you’d like to talk about, come by for a Well Check. Leah Plush our new financial administrative assistant has a schedule of available times, so call her at 684-5215, to make an appointment. (Of course you can come by any time, but I’m not always in my office.)