Staff Reflection

Fulfilling Our Promise of Baptism

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Each time this Sanctuary is blessed by the sacrament of baptism, the congregation is asked, in part, “Do you ….. undertake with these parents the Christian nurture of this child?”… and “Will you endeavor by your example and fellowship to strengthen (the child’s) family ties with this household of God?”

We answer “We do” and “We will” as scripted. We smile at the baby as the ritual proceeds, perhaps laugh at the child’s noises or gestures and then move on with worship service. But what did we mean when we essentially promised God, the baby and parents, and all assembled, that we’d help raise this child? How does one fulfill this important but vague commitment? The Westminster Presbyterian Church Foundation, which exists solely to support this church and its mission, has created a voluntary initiative to help each of us make this happen. “Fulfilling our Promise of Baptism” is the name of the program and it is designed to help us do exactly that – put our treasure, time and talents to work in making good on the promise we make at each baptism.

The program is simple, completely voluntary, and separate from other ways we support the church. Each Sunday when a baptism takes place, there are envelopes in each pew offering opportunities to both make a monetary donation and learn more about volunteering in our Children and Youth ministries. You can honor the child and family by making a tax deductible contribution to the Foundation. Contributions in any amount will gladly be accepted and appreciated. Interest from the investment of these funds is dedicated solely to the support of our Christian Education program, where the child will grow and learn with Christian nurturing provided by staff and volunteers in that ministry. You can also indicate on this envelope, your interest in becoming part of the child’s nurturing directly. You will learn about volunteer jobs such as a teacher, chaperone, or other important and needed roles that touch the life of this and many other children so that in due time, each may come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

In April, we have a baptism on the 23rd. Please look for special white envelopes in your pew. Consider taking a concrete step toward honoring the child and your commitment to help with that child’s spiritual growth by making a donation and learning how you can play a direct role in that child’s Christian nurturing.

Posted by Tim Wilson with 0 Comments

Every Day is a Gift

Have you ever had one of “those days”? You know what I mean, don’t you? The alarm didn’t go off. The plumbing was backed up. The clothes you wanted to wear were in the laundry. You hit every red light on the way to the office. I could go on and on. Those circumstances don’t make the start of your day very joy-filled.

Sometimes when I’ve started my day that way (and I’m pretty sure the rest of it will be just as challenging, if not worse), then suddenly I get a sense that God is speaking to me. It may be a subtle nudge, or something more obvious. Once, after starting my day in a frustrating way, I saw a sight-impaired person walking down the street with a white cane. Then he stopped while trying to determine where the curb was, so he could step down. I had feelings of empathy for that individual, which made me feel grateful for the sight I had, and it changed my perspective.

So often, when a friend or family member dies, someone will comment, “Every day is a gift.” It’s a statement of gratitude for the days we have to live our lives. We are grateful God has given us our lives to soak up the beauty, joy and wonder of this world, and to share with those who are less fortunate because we are grateful for the blessings we have received.

It’s so easy to take the gift of life for granted. Day after day, week after week, year after year, it often becomes a redundant series of unimportant days. Nothing too exciting. Just getting through each day until the next season, the next holiday, the next vacation, etc. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

God holds our hand as we walk through this life. God goes ahead of us to prepare the way. Every day is a gift because it’s an opportunity for us to thank God for our lives – for our opportunity to make a difference. We show this thanks by reaching out with a hand of fellowship, providing a shoulder for someone to cry on, extending an extra pair of hands to carry a heavy load, or giving a smile of encouragement. Often I have found if I can help someone else, I unknowingly help myself in the process.

When we focus on gratitude or gratefulness to God, instead of our own daily problems, the day does become a gift. It’s not always easy. In fact, sometimes it’s down-right hard. I wish I could say that I am always successful; but I’m not. However, I do know the result will be fantastic when I can focus on this gift God has given us.

In Psalm 118:24, the psalmist wrote, "This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Let’s give thanks, be grateful and appreciate the gift.

Posted by Joan Mahaffey with 0 Comments

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