I’m sitting in the Calgary airport as I write this, waiting for my connection to Hamilton. Although the Mennonite church conference was in Saskatoon, Westjet has lived up to its name by taking me west before we head east.
I’ve thought a lot about First Mennonite while I’m far away, so I feel I have something in common with Paul in this week’s text from I Thessalonians 3. He was in Athens, but his mind was on the church in Thessalonika. Unlike Paul, I have access to email! When Paul wanted information, he had to send Timothy in person, and wait for months to hear some good news.
A bunch of times at conference, people I know have asked me, “How are things going at your church?” I have been able to say how thankful I am for our congregation, “People are getting along….we really care for each other.”
In one in-depth conversation, I shared how in the past five years God has answered two prayers in amazing ways. When I began here five years ago, we didn’t have any children under four years old, and many of our young adults were leaving our community. “Bless our congregation with babies,” was my prayer (and the prayer of many others). And we are rich in babies and toddlers now!
I also prayed that our mission efforts would have a personal component, and not consist just of giving money. I knew that mission has the potential to transform us. And God is doing amazing things…now after sponsoring a refugee family from Columbia, God has also brought four other Spanish speaking people into our church. Now we are considering sponsoring another family from Columbia. What direction will this take us? God knows!
This week’s prayer: Thank you God for the community of your disciples at First Mennonite in Vineland, help us abound in love for one another and for all.