Thursday, January 18, 2007

Helping All Year Long

Hey there everyone. Pastor Hank here with a belated Happy New Year to all.

Well, like the rest of the Scenes and Beans bloggers, I had an after-Christmas post written, which now seems a little late. But actually, this post is about Christmas all year long.

In Kanner Lake lots of folks give generously to the needy at Christmastime. Kanner Lake is not a large town, and New Community Church is not a large congregation. However, I love my flock because they have a large heart, and it shows in so many ways. Kanner Lake depended a lot on the lumber trade, and with all of the regulations and environmental concerns of the last couple of decades, the business is not as lucrative as it has been in the past. We are not a rich town, and there are a fair number of families in need.

For many years we did the traditional food basket for a needy family in the town. It was a nice gesture, but it seemed like we could do a little more. Then about seven years ago a dear saint suggested that Jesus didn't just care about people around His birthday. He loved them all year long. As a pastor, I was challenged in a big way with that word. And I'm proud to say the church was too, and stepped up to the challenge.

Now each year we watch carefully for any families that our people may know of that are struggling. Maybe the husband is out of work or the wife is sick. Whatever the reason, we find a family we can "adopt." We start with a special collection of food at Christmas, along with clothes or toys that may be appropriate. But we don't stop at Christmas. We agree to partner with the family for the next year to see what we can do to help them with whatever their needs. If the mom needs some babysitting to be able to work or go to the store, we help with that. The church bookkeeper may help them with budgeting skills. So many times they have just had a bad run, and knowing there is someone watching their back helps them get back on their feet.

We have also had the joy of having some of these families become part of our church and be able to help others as they were helped. That to me is just awesome. Not every family has decided to be a part of us, and that was never a requirement. Jesus told us to love people, not to make them exactly like us. We're not super holy here, but we try to do the best we can with what we're given. We have people with good hearts, and they truly make this outreach happen. I can't do it all as the pastor.

And we wouldn't be doing it at all if it weren't for a baby in a manger 2007 years ago.

Visit "Spoiled for the Ordinary"--the personal blog of the author of this post

Posted by Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
That's an interesting way to give. Thanks for the idea. I agree that sometimes the personal expertise and time can help just as much as giving money.
Posted by Anonymous E. Smythe : 11:39 AM
Yes, I agree. And giving time seems so much harder these days. Many people seem to have more $$ to give than time. But it's the time that really gives back, I think, because then you're interacting with others. And you just might learn something yourself.
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 11:43 AM
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