Today was stewardship Sunday at Mount Vernon Place. Today is the day annually set aside for members to ponder anew how they can support the church in the coming year with their prayers, their presence, their gifts and their service. Ordinarily, stewardship Sunday is not one of the favorite Sundays of the year. Many people loathe for the pastor to talk about money, concluding that the pastor has no business meddling in one's financial business.
But, today was an amazing day! The choir sang beautifully, offering an incredible anthem based on the Sermon on the Mount. The children's message went off without a hitch as the children responded to the message as if they had cue cards. And, the sermon was well received (at least that is what the people told me as they left the worship space)! But the best part of today was the potluck lunch that followed the worship service.
We gathered for lunch together, recognizing that it may be one of the last times we'll be able to sit down as a congregation in our current building until the construction project is finished in December of 2007. We gathered in order to talk about the new ministry team structure being proposed for 2007. We also gathered to see new artist renderings of different rooms in the building to be built. And something happened when we gathered.
When we gathered, I caught a glimpse of the community described in Acts 2. Most people brought something to the meal, but many others did not. Still, everything was shared. Everyone was fed -- even a man and his two children visiting from New York City -- a family who found the church in the Yellow Pages. No one was sent away hungry. We gathered together as people of all ages and backgrounds in order to break bread together. People ate their food with glad and generous hearts. And, we praised God for what God is doing in the midst of our community -- for providing a more intimate worship space while we rebuild, for our new members who joined the church two weeks ago, for the incredible space that is about to be built, and for the gift of simply being together.
It was a glad and joyous day. If we have a few more days like today, then I am quite confident that the Lord will also add to our number, just as the Lord added to the congregation in Acts 2.
What a joyous day!