by Melissa Guthrie Loy–
I will be
bragging sharing about our church when I spend time with other Disciples at the Excellence in Ministry retreat next week. I’m headed to the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.
I will share how our church has partnered with other denominations for the Neighborhood Youth Project. I will share how this combined youth group hosted the Souper Bowl of Caring. I will share how church members and friends supported the fundraiser with time—so much time!—and donations of food and money, all to feed our neighbors. I will share how we participate in the Corner Market in order to raise funds for Green for Greens, which doubles SNAP benefits and provides hungry neighbors with access to fresh, local produce. I will share how we are caring for one another, too.
And I will learn. Excellence in Ministry (EIM) is a program of the Pension Fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for which I was selected. It’s an honor to be a participant. I receive training about money and faith, preaching and clergy and congregational wellbeing. It’s a two-year program: Leah and Josie and I went to the first training last August in Cincinnati. I’ll travel again in August 2019. (I’m hoping that trip is to Indianapolis so I can visit Rob and Lee and Harper and Jonathan.) I will learn so much, and I will tell you all that I learn.
And I will rest. I won’t necessarily get more sleep; Josie is coming with me. (You can never teach kids too early about good stewardship!) I will rest as I settle with intentional community. I will rest as I relish the beauty of God’s creation.
And I will return to continue being the church with you in this place for this time. I hope you find ways to share about the life of our congregation with others. I hope you learn: through our small groups and from our guest preachers and with the upcoming Speaker Series. I hope you rest, too. As we all return for Sunday morning worship services, and week-night conversations or meetings, may we remember that we are the church.
And it is good to be the church together.