Yesterday the Church Council surround Martha and me, laying their hands on us and praying God's blessings on us as we head off for sabbatical leave. Then, as a surprise, Jon presented us with a bundle of envelopes (pictured above) that contained personal blessings from members and friends. They came from kids, couples, old timers, new attendees, singles, and whole families. Wow!
The pile of letters/blessings really make me feel sent. How privileged I am to serve a congregation that cares so well. Oh, it's a demanding congregation as well. They expect hard work and faithfulness. They expect solid, well-planned worship and careful stewardship of our limited resources. But that is so much easier to do in a context of generosity and grace.