Celebrate Generosity

A year ago, I didn’t know Mary & Alex. Ronald Commons was still under construction. It wasn’t until May that Mary and Alex moved in and became our neighbors and such an integral part of the life of the church. A year ago, I didn’t know Laethan. The Thursday night community meal was still an idea without a chef. Now, Laethan is a Thursday night ‘regular’ who blesses me by calling me his friend.

A few weeks ago, Mary showed me how generosity brings joy. She had been planning for a few weeks. Alex was turning two. Laethan was turning 43. Organizing such celebrations require flexibility. So it was that the plan changed more than once. Instead of Saturday in the Ronald Commons’ Community Room, Mary needed to adjust the plan. So, she decided to invite everyone to come to the church to celebrate at the weekly Thursday night dinner, where she and Alex and Laethan are regulars.
Our chefs, Frank, Bill and the crew had prepared a delicious meal of pork enchiladas, red beans and rice, and cilantro-lime slaw. By 5:20, folks were already lining up for the feast. Everything was ready, but there was no sign of Laethan.

While Mary scurried around making final preparations, members of Mary’s church family took care of Alex and made sure he ate some dinner. I looked up around 6:30 and saw that some of the dinner crowd was heading out the door. I called over and asked Mary about dessert. “I have it all ready,” she said, “I’m just waiting on Laethan.” She had spent so much time planning and preparing, I began to worry about what would happen if he didn’t show.

When I looked over again, there was Laethan, sitting next to Alex, a round chocolate-frosted cake in front of each of them. About a dozen children and youth from the church and Ronald Commons had gathered around thetable to sing Happy Birthday, and to help eat the tower of blue & green frosted cupcakes that Mary had stacked in the center of the table.

Mary announced that it was time. Candles were lit. The room burst into song. Laethan grinned, while Alex focused earnestly on the flickering candles. Cupcakes were handed out at the table and around the room. Children’s faces were decorated with the tell-tale chocolate ring around their mouths, while adults sported faintly blue-tinted smiles.

I don’t know if it was exactly what Mary hoped it would be. For me, Mary’s loving and generous spirit made celebrating with this beloved community a birthday party to remember. For all our planning and organizing, generosity is what most often leads to joy.

That is especially true of our Christian faith. It may not always go according to our plans, but extravagant generosity almost always leads to joy. Your faithful and generous financial support of the church makes these joy-filled celebrations possible. Ronald Commons exists because of your generosity. Your generosity makes it possible for us to host the Thursday night community dinner.

Your generosity brought Mary and Alex and Laethan into my life, which brings me joy, and not just when it involves cupcakes. You didn’t plan it that way, but that’s how it happened.

 

No matter where you are or what you believe, your generosity makes a difference. You can help us continue to extend the reach of God’s love into the world with a one-time gift or a regular contribution. You can give through our secure online option or by mail.

Thank you and may your joy be complete,
Pastor Kelly

 

 

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