[It's always an extra special Sunday when we celebrate Holy Baptism like we did yesterday during our 10:30 service. Baptism is a sacrament that has many dimensions. It is how we are initiated into the life of the faith community, it is a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our life, it cleanses us from our sin, and it a sign of the new birth that we have through Jesus Christ. If you want to learn more about Holy Baptism along with other ways that we can draw closer to Christ, come to our Core Course, "Means of Grace," which will be offered on Monday, October 9, 6 pm to 8 pm on our 3rd floor lounge. Pictured above: Pastor Robert introducing Caroline to her church family while the congregation sings to her.]
Giving and compassionate God, in many ways, we can see ourselves standing beside Frank Donovan and wondering what it is that hold us back in being the generous people you call us to be. Thank you that we are not alone in pondering that important question. During these next five weeks, teach us what it means to love you and our neighbor with not just some of our heart, mind, and soul. Help us to love with all of our heart, mind, and soul!
Just like Frank’s young son was able to teach him what it means to give our gifts from the heart, teach us what it means to give our gifts from the heart. As we grow in becoming more generous in sharing our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness, open our eyes to see the ripple effect of your love in our church family, in our community, and in our own hearts. May we see every moment as an opportunity to be a blessing to others.
Thank you prompting our church to reach out to the people who were impacted by the recent hurricanes down south. Thank you for all of those who loaded flood supplies on the truck this past Friday. Thank you for the school supplies, the hygiene kits, and the special offering that has been received to send to our United Methodist Committee on Relief. Thank you that we are part of a connectional church, where more good can be done with our churches working together rather than in isolation.
Help us to not be so discouraged by all of the negative news in our world, that we miss seeing all of the good that is all around us, like the person who sent our church a thank you card for the many ways we are blessing her mother with our visits and like the child who wrote on a prayer card that was placed in our outdoor prayer cross this past week, “Dear God, bless heven,” and spelled heaven, “H-E-V-E-N.” And like the crazy awesome rainbow over Athens a week and a half ago. You were really showing off that day!
O God, from big bright rainbows to the beautiful changing leaves of autumn, you take our breath away. Help us to add to your already beautiful world by being the generous and loving people that you have called us to be. We pray this in the name of Jesus who taught us to pray together saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”