Sunday, October 30, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 7

Today, I am thankful for everyone who is a part of my church family at Belmont United Methodist Church. When Herb and I got married, we started looking for a church we could both be comfortable in – not an easy task, given my Baptist background and his Episcopal upbringing. We agreed that we needed a church with solid Biblical teaching and theology, a strong music program, and an open, welcoming congregation with a varied demographic including families with young children. And after visiting a number of churches in the area, we found what we were looking for at BUMC.

From the very beginning, the people in the church went out of their way to make us feel welcome and included. The music director recruited us to sing in the choir, the pastor invited us to serve on various boards and committees, the worship coordinator asked us to sign up as scripture readers. When I was pregnant with my son, a fellow parishioner generously offered me her old maternity clothes. The ladies (and some of the men) of the church often asked how I was feeling, and offered both sympathy and wise advice. When Ryan was born, he (and our whole family) was immediately embraced and adored by the entire congregation. And when Katie was born, she was as well. Several families gave us gifts when each of the kids was born, and many people sent us cards. And when Herb’s brother and later, my mom, passed away, we received dozens of personal condolences and cards offering love and support.

The expression “church family” truly applies to this congregation. I have always felt loved, embraced, supported, and appreciated by everyone at BUMC. My thankfulness is expressed best in the words of Paul and Timothy in their letter to the Philippians (Phil. 1:3-6):

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.

The three things that I’m thankful for today are: the love of God that is shown to me through others, the opportunities I have to show the love of God to others, and the Word of God that teaches me how to both give and receive the love of God.


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