Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
2 Corinthians 9:8-12 reads:
God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause. As the scripture says, “He gives generously to the needy; his kindness lasts forever.” And God, who supplies seed for the sower and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity. He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts which they receive from us. For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God’s people, but also produces an outpouring of gratitude of God.
Among the many blessings I am thankful for, is the generosity of the Oakland United Methodist Church congregation. Sunday, October 25th was Ingathering and Mission Giving Dedication Sunday. During the worship service, we heard stories about people who have personally been blessed by the missions you have given to, people whose lives have been transformed through your giving. We heard about Lindsay who found hope at the Open Door Mission and Maggie who benefited from the work of Society of St. Andrews. We were introduced to John who is now living a changed life thanks to the Sienna/Francis House. We learned how the Heifer Project helped Oscar and his family make a living. We saw how lives are being changed through the work of the missionary we support, Larry Kies. The 85 Layette Kits placed before the altar will bring much joy to new moms in Nigeria.
There are many more stories.
Sometimes the many needs of the world can be overwhelming. While it is true we cannot help everyone, we are called to do what we can. Every life matters. You may have heard the story of the Starfish. It goes like this:
Once upon a time, there was a man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a child, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The child was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The child paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.” “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled man. To this, the child replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.” Upon hearing this, the man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!” At this, the child bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into ocean. As it met the water, he said, “I made a difference for that one.”
Jesus says, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Thank you for sharing what God has blessed you with. Your giving does make a positive difference in the lives of our brothers and sister near and far.
May you have a very Blessed
Pastor Kim Dewey