One of the things God is impressing on me these days is practicing his presence as it relates to the needs of others around me. A friend includes this quote of Fred Rogers in her missional statement: “Appreciation is a holy thing–when we look for what’s best in a person we happen to be with at the moment we’re doing what God does all the time. So, in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something sacred.”
I recall my varied experiences in an airport and in flight this week. I recall not listening as attentively as I could have to an elderly person who was sitting next to me. I remember how appreciative a woman dressed in Islamic garb was when I assisted her in pulling down her travel luggage. I recall strangers stopping and picking up items I had dropped walking through the airport. And the gruffness of one person serving in security: “Weren’t you told that you had to remove food items from your bag?” It’s amazing the impact the smallest gestures of kindness or curt remarks have on our day and how we may respond to the next person we meet. It isn’t always easy to see the face of Jesus in another person but it does allow us to “participate in something sacred,” responding with a caring heart.
Caring Hearts is one of the five primary components of Be Part of This with Deeper Discipleship, All Generations, Community Impact, and Engaging Worship the other descriptive words of the Body of Christ in this place. Be Part of This is more than a catchy phrase we are throwing around Schweitzer these days. It is an invitation to be fully engaged in this church. I invite you to do two things between now and Sunday: 1) Go to the website be.sumc.co and learn more about what God is doing in and through Schweitzer. 2) Complete a printed 2018 Giving Commitment Card and bring it with you to worship this Sunday or simply make your commitment online on the website. We ask that you do so prayerfully and obediently to how God is leading you to support Schweitzer. And, if you have not yet decided whether Schweitzer is your home church, do not feel any pressure to respond to this request. Regardless, I do hope to see you in worship Sunday as the message will bring clarity to who we are and what we are about at Schweitzer.
Until we are the church gathered together Sunday, let’s practice being caring hearts to those around us. When it comes to practicing God’s presence in this world, let’s all be part of this!