Sharing the Gift

An amazing thing happened as we were sharing our Joys and Concerns at the 10:00 service last Sunday -  Julie Stone (who had attended the earlier 8:30 service already) came in from the parlor to announce that a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Darien had just dropped of a large donation of school supplies from that congregation to add to our church's school supply drive for Hope's Front Door. What a gift! And what a great expression of partnership together - people of faith and love joining hands and resources to make a difference.

Something similar happened later in the week, at Vacation Bible School. In place of monetary donations this year, the VBS students were asked to bring in used books in good condition to donate to the children who are served by the People's Resource Center. The kids did a great job, selecting from their own shelves books they no longer needed to keep, but that would be great gifts to pass along to others. They brought them with them to VBS and made a stack of their "offerings" in front of the sanctuary. Some children brought bags full of books! And one family brought several bags, and explained that the day before they had run into someone who, though not involved in our church, listened as the children talked enthusiastically about bringing used books to VBS to share. That person was a recently retired teacher - who happened to have a big supply of books she was ready to pass along to a new group of readers. These young "missionaries" gratefully accepted her donation, the next day, of two large bags of books, and brought them, along with their own donations, to VBS. What a great way to include others in the joy of giving as a faith community.!

This Sunday we will be partaking in Holy Communion, the Gift of Christ that we are humbled to receive, and honored to proclaim that all are welcome to share.    

And on Sunday, we will look at one of those "Stories under the Stars" from the book of Genesis, one that especially hits home for those of us who find ourselves struggling with our faith at times. In Genesis 32:22-31, Jacob, a person with a checkered past, encounters a mysterious, challenging Companion he comes to understand as the very presence of God, with him in his vulnerability, and giving him the wisdom to face the future, as he is "Re-Named." 

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