Good morning saints!
It’s a sleepy, rainy Monday morning here in Madison, and I hope that you have poured a cup of coffee and and gearing up for a great week. With the kids back in school, summer is beginning to come to and end and we will soon move into the fall season, a time that is always busy in the life of the church.
Of course you don’t want to forget The Music Man In Concert this weekend. I’ve had a chance to hear just a little bit and it’s going to be a great show. All the proceeds after expenses for this show go toward our bus pass ministry. Click here for more information about the show and to buy your tickets.
Speaking of our bus pass program, we’re giving it a new identity as we move forward. Our Roll On ministry is focused on providing transportation assistance in the form of one day bus passes for people in need. Given at the discretion of the pastors as available, these passes are reserved for those who can’t afford to purchase a pass and still need access to services, such as medical visits, coordinating with social services agencies, etc. Given our location in a high poverty area near a main bus stop, the need for help is great and we are pleased to be able to serve others in this way.
By the way, did you know that you can donate to some of our outreach ministries on-line? We now have the ability to take donations via PayPal for our “Make A Difference Fund” (formerly the Altar Fund) which helps to fund ministries such as Roll On, the Madison Community Meal, Room in the Inn, Rooftop (emergency rent and mortgage assistance), and Christian Cooperative Ministries. You can donate anytime by visiting www.cityroadchapel.org/madfund.
While giving financially is always appreciated, as we talked about yesterday giving of our time and energy in service to the ministries of our church and to the needs of the world is crucial in our own discipleship. God’s love is given to us not to be hoarded, but to be given away freely, with the knowledge that more is always available to us. It’s a goal of our Church Council (the leadership team of our church) that EVERY person who regularly participates in the life of our church be engaged in at least one form of service on a regular basis, at the very least quarterly, but ideally monthly.
I know that some folks don’t feel like they are completely up to participating in service activities, such as helping with the Community Meal or Room in the Inn. However service happens in many different ways. I once had a homebound member at a church who couldn’t get out any more, but she could knit and crochet. Her ministry of service was to knit and crochet afghans that we kept in our sanctuary for those who got cold because of the air conditioning. It seemed like a little thing, but the fact that we had these wraps for folks clearly on display was a means of offering hospitality which was appreciated by all. Service to others may be as simple as writing a note, sending a card, or making a phone call. And around the church there are always tasks to be done — just ask Tina Belton or Jim Neely and I dare say they can identify all sorts of projects you could help with.
Speaking of which, Jim has scheduled a church work day for this Saturday (August 22). There will be some work outdoors, but most of the work will be consolidating all the various junk . . . uh . . . treasure . . . that we’ve accumulated over the years in preparation for a yard sale. We’re trying to clear out some of our spaces so that we can serve our neighbors in new ways, and this yard sale will help cull out some of the things we don’t use anymore.
All of this is connected to who we are as a church. I was recently talking with a community leader (whose father used to pastor a large church down the street) who said to me that he thought City Road Chapel was a church that takes seriously Christ’s call to serve the “least of these.” Helping one another and helping others is just part of who we are. It’s in our DNA. We simply have to grab hold of that identity, wear it with pride, and build on it as we carry out God’s mission in the world.
I hope you will be thinking about how you are being called to serve this week. And I continue to hold on to the dream of City Road Chapel as a “service station” to and for the people of Madison.
See you soon.