How to Be Helpful? Everyone Pitches In!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, October 4, 2014

autumn road

How to Be Helpful? Everyone Pitches In!

Isn’t it wonderful when everything comes together? Especially when a big event—planned for some time—happens, and everything works out wonderfully? Yeah. That happened tonight.

Actually, this morning was really awesome, too. But more about that, first. I’ll briefly describe what happened this morning, as an appetizer to this evening’s festivities. I prepared for a Blessing of the Animals this morning. Yes, I had fliers with a prayer all printed up, but the weather did not cooperate.

Today was the coldest day of the fall so far, and the weather was threatening to rain all morning. (And, it finally did start sprinkling, just before noon. Just before I started to move things inside.) Lo and behold, I blessed nine animals. Several in-depth conversations happened. Plus, two more people came to the church and brought lists of their animals. The two dear people wanted their pets blessed long-distance. Of course, I did!

But, this evening? Better and better. It was marvelous to see so many people come out and support St. Luke’s Church. And like I said before, everything came together to create a lovely night. Excellent food, hard work by everyone involved. Even the student youth leader and his roommate came to the spaghetti dinner—both did yeoman’s service, helping out with the serving and whatever else was needed around the kitchen and the fellowship hall.

Such an example of service! Serving with love and caring to others, being helpful, loving and caring with no sign of anyone paying me back or doing something for me in exchange. And here, at St. Luke’s Church? That kind of attitude is what I saw. That’s the loving and caring attitude I find in the larger passage I’m preaching from tomorrow, from John 16 and 17. How wonderful it is to show others how important each individual is. Such a difference! And, each person is truly valued and cared for.

Everyone pitching in helps each one to be more and more encouraged and supported. And, the encouragement and support is circular, helping members of the congregation feel better about themselves. Which just encourages more love and caring to others. That is what I would like to show to everyone: our congregation truly is striving to be a congregation after God’s own heart. Difficult? Challenging? Are there setbacks, sometimes? Yes. Yes, and yes. What’s more, I think God is pleased and continues to bless our efforts. God willing, we’ll continue to try!

@chaplaineliza

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Be Kind? Bless Animals! Be of Service? Serve Spaghetti! (Feature Friday!)

A Year of Being Kind blog – Friday, October 3, 2014

Cute-Kitten-and-Puppy-Wallpaper 2013-06

Be Kind? Bless Animals! Be of Service? Serve Spaghetti! (Feature Friday!)

Talk about a blockbuster weekend! Blessing of the Animals, tomorrow morning. Spaghetti Dinner, tomorrow evening. World Communion Sunday, Sunday morning. All happening at St. Luke’s Church in Morton Grove. A weekend full of activity, for sure.

Tomorrow is October 4th, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. For the portions of the church that observe and honor the saints, St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and the environment. What more appropriate day to observe a Blessing of the Animals! When I did an animal and pet blessing in the spring several months ago, we had sixteen dogs and their human friends come to the parking lot of St. Luke’s Church. Great opportunity for our church to bless pets and communicate God’s love and caring to both the animals as well as their human families.

As I said to the St. Luke’s congregation, I will be out in the church parking lot from 10:00 am until noon. I will bless any pet that comes by, big or small. I will even bless pictures and photos of pets, if people choose to bring them by. I look upon this as a ministry. I love animals, and this will be a wonderful outreach and offering to our community and neighbors.

And then, tomorrow night! Believe me, almost everyone at the church has been gearing up for this Spaghetti dinner all month. At the midweek bible study, people were preoccupied with the dinner, and preparations, and lists. I heard a lot of excitement! That was great! However, I also heard some anxiety, and preoccupation with the details. Accordingly, I included a special prayer at the bible study. I prayed that the dinner might go smoothly, and that God be lifted up and honored by everything that happens tomorrow evening. I know several people at the bible study appreciated my prayers.

Isn’t that the way it is sometimes, when the schedule is too full? Loads of checklists and details and planning and forecasting. When a person isn’t able to squeeze in one more little thing? Too busy even to turn around. Yes, it can be a lot. Even too much, sometimes. It’s a good thing that the congregation only has this dinner once a year.

I appreciate the celebration and blessing of World Communion Sunday, the following day. I have prayerfully arranged the worship service for this special Sunday. I hope and pray that it will be a blessing for all who attend. As well as for the friends who will be at the church at different times on Saturday, too. God, I pray that You are lifted up and honored in many ways this weekend. With animals, with spaghetti, with fellowship, in celebration.

@chaplaineliza

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