In the quiet moments of this early morning before I invited in the sounds of the outside world, gratitude rose to the top of my thoughts. This was a blessing in more ways than I can name. As you can imagine, the important questions before our congregation have occupied my thoughts—both waking and, it would seem, sleeping. I have been so intent on listening to all of you. Listening to your wishes and your will for IPC. Listening with my heart and my head. Processing and problem-solving so many hours of the day. So it was as if this morning, God said, “Stop. Don’t lose sight of the joys and blessings right in front of your eyes.” Let me share a few of my thoughts:
I am grateful for IPC’s faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ for the last 104 years. I am grateful for the care given and respect shown to everyone who walks through our doors-- whether it is their first time or their thousandth time, whether they are searching for food for their bodies or food for their souls, no matter the depth of their pain, physical or emotional.
I am grateful for the ministry of the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, a ministry nearing its 100th anniversary. Susan wrote to you last week about the growing number of children served each summer. A class for rising sixth graders was added this summer. Already these children are asking if they can come back again next summer. I appeal to all of you: help us find a way to provide more classroom space, more teachers, more Chromebooks, more of everything for these children.
I am grateful to the Presbyterian Women as they prepare for the 70th anniversary of Holiday House. This annual event has raised thousands and thousands of dollars for the mission and ministries of IPC. Making Holiday House work requires months of planning, generous homeowners, and hundreds of volunteers. It all happens in two short days, but the benefits last for years.
I am running out of space, but my gratitude extends well beyond what I have written here. I am grateful for all the ways you embody the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am grateful for all the ways you remind me every day that God is at work in and through all of us who make up this wonderful community known as Independent Presbyterian Church.