The great American playwright and Nobel laureate in literature Eugene O’Neill once said, “WE ARE BORN BROKEN. WE LIVE BY MENDING. AND THE GRACE OF GOD IS THE GLUE." Interesting words from the son of Irish immigrants who survived the depression, battled alcoholism, and whose plays nearly all involve some degree of tragedy and personal pessimism.
A recurring theme in his body of work would suggest that we mend by caring and sharing our talents with others.
But what exactly is caring? Perhaps a good starting point would be to suggest that it involves helping “the other” to grow, whether the “other” is another person, an idea, or, maybe, a community. At its very best, caring is different from wishing well, liking, or simply having an interest in what happens to another. It is also not an isolated feeling or a momentary relationship. Caring is a process. It takes place over time. It requires and builds on such qualities as knowing the other, mutual trust, patience, honesty, humility, hope and courage.
Over time, caring becomes a specific way of being in the world. It shapes us. It defines us. It colors everything about us. And, not surprisingly, caring people are drawn into relationship with other caring people. Here at Union Avenue Christian Church we have a legacy of helping each other grow, and we grow our community through our caring commitment to one another.
THROUGH CARING FOR OTHERS, we have built a community of care here at Union Avenue, and that, in turn, brings grace and joy into our individual lives. This “caring” is pretty potent stuff, and it’s a foundational characteristic of the people and the community of Union Avenue Christian Church. It marks us a people of God, and it helps us grow and be transformed.
The process of growth and transformation inherent in our community of care points to the spiritual nature of caring and sharing our talents with others. Caring can lead us through some dark nights of the soul, but it also can connect us to meaning in our life in a way that would otherwise be impossible. And we need those worthy commitments for the purpose of our own wholeness, our own creative unfolding.
A perfect example of this “creative unfolding” is our SECOND SERVINGS MINISTRY. Out of her talents for compassion and care and the desire to nurture others through the sharing of home-cooked meals, Michelle Mueller started a marvelous ministry called Second Servings. Second Servings is a simple, congregational-focused ministry that encourages our members and friends to cook extra food and then package it and place it in our freezer. People then are able to share these containers of food with others who are not able to cook, or who are having some health issues. We would ask that more people of the congregation – who continue to cook – would share some of their culinary skills by preparing food and bring it to the church so that more people can be fed. For more information about how you can support our SECOND SERVINGS MINISTRY with your talents, please speak with Michelle Mueller and she will provide you with all the information you need to get up and running.
SECOND SERVINGS is but one way your gifts and talents can be used to uphold and participate in the ministries of Union Avenue Christian Church. These ministries often begin with the desire to share talents from within a heart for care. As you search your heart for care when considering “what shall we bring?” you might be surprised by where the Spirit of God leads you.
This past week you should have received a second mailing from our Stewardship Ministry Team with more information about supporting the ministries of Union Avenue Christian Church in the year ahead. This year-end-planning, budgeting, and underwriting is essential to our ongoing ministries to serve our community both locally and globally. Please prayerfully consider how you will support the ministries of Union Avenue with your time, talent, and financial resources and plan to join us Sunday, November 4, for Commitment Sunday and All Saints Sunday.