A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Even I Like this Buckeye Van

Pastor Robert, would you be able to attend a photo gathering at Medill Elementary School on Tuesday at 12:30?

Sure! What's going on? 

Our church gave $1,000 to help a family with two disabled children have a handicap accessible van that includes a chair lift.

OK, I can do that!

When I arrived at the school, I walked passed the van (see picture above) and was very impressed! I approached the door of the school and could see that they were already having a special party in the hallway. Standing there were the very grateful parents and their two children sitting in wheel chairs. A teacher introduced them to me. I told them that I was Pastor Robert from First United Methodist Church in Lancaster. I looked up at the parents and said,

My church is so glad that we could help contribute funds toward the van. That's why we're here. We're here to be a blessing.

I wish all 1,400 members of our congregation could have seen the look of deep gratitude in each of their eyes.

They thanked me (meaning you, the congregation) over and over again as if I didn't hear them the first two times. Dad and mom were so appreciative that our church gave so much to help them even though we hadn't ever met their family personally and they don't attend our church. I wish all 1,400 members of our congregation could have seen the look of deep gratitude in each of their eyes.

Actually, we do know this family. About two years ago, we provided an air conditioner for this family because one of their children had extensive surgery and would need to stay in their hot apartment during the extensive recovery process.

Our church was able to make this generous donation through your faithful giving to our Local Relief Fund. We used to call this our Pastor's Discretionary Fund but that sounded like it was a fund to send the pastors on a vacation to Hawaii! This fund has always been used to help people like this family who are facing significant financial challenges and who are finding it difficult to care for basic needs.

Thank You!

So thank you church for helping to buy a special van that will help this family get from place to place. Our dollars are being used to build God's kingdom right here in our community!

As I was getting ready to leave the school, a church member standing next to me said, Hey Robert, did you notice the large Buckeye decal that is on the back of the van? Isn't it nice? If you look closely at the picture of the van above, you can see this sticker on the back side of the van.

The new owners of the van overheard our conversation and they looked at me with a confused look. The church member said, Oh, don't worry about him. He's just a Penn State fan.

I have to admit that even though I bleed blue and white, that Buckeye sticker looks really great on that van!

SPECIAL NOTE: Our Local Relief Fund is received on the first Sunday of each month when traditionally we offer the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Click here for the article about this story in the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette.

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