by Melissa Guthrie Loy–
There are toffee chocolate chip cookies in the fridge in the kitchen at church. They’re not labeled. As Lent approaches—Ash Wednesday is a week from today, February 14—I shall speak my confession now, albeit confession should be an ongoing thing: I helped myself to a toffee chocolate chip cookie. The package was open (why do I feel like I need to justify my cookie?). I send my thanks to whomever left the treats unmarked in the fridge at church.
The fridge is full. On one side it is full of the lunchboxes for ARC participants. It is such a joy to share our building space with The Arc for its RemARCable Community program. Most days we hear the joy and energy from their conversation, painting or Zumba. I have yet to join them for Zumba although it would be fun and beneficial (and may induce my approaching labor!).
The other side of the fridge is full of ingredients for tomorrow night’s meal to be prepared and served at the family shelter at the YWCA. Table Talk serves at the YWCA once a month and more and more folks are contributing items for the meal (thank you!). Other FCC folks serve at Urban Ministry. Our hands and hearts are filling bellies and food pantries! Did you see the totals from Sunday’s Souper Bowl of Caring?
Total $$ raised for One Step Further food pantry: $928
Total # of cans donated: 256 cans
Additional # of items donated to Backpack program: 152
Also in the fridge are items for Sunday Night Youth Group meals. Our kids and teens and adult volunteers gather most Sunday evenings. If they’re not in the building for youth groups, they are participating in community events like the upcoming Interfaith Tour or field trip to the Civil Rights Museum. By the way, everyone is invited to participate in those events. There is always something happening. Next week the fridge will be full of items for the Vintage Bunch gathering!
Inspired by my toffee chocolate chip cookie (again, thanks to the unknown donor!), I am reminded of the fullness of God. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because God first loved us.” I know I am full of God’s love because others first fill me up. Obviously, literally, with that cookie.
I borrow a prayer from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:
“I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” May we all be filled with the fullness of God as we participate in FCC programs, as we move through our school days and work days, as we are away from one another and as we come together in worship, education, and service. Amen.
Photo by Lee Hull Moses, from the 2018 Souper Bowl of Caring