I felt so deeply blessed to have been able to attend the first retreat for Lutheran Church of the Resurrection. The deepening in community inspired a spiritual deepening for me as well. What a wonderful group of people! Living a Spirit-Filled Life was the main theme, and was expanded through breath work. I love the phrase by the poet Gregory Orr that "every breath is a resurrection". I am finding that to be so true. - Tanda Ainsworth
I have gone to youth group since I started 7th grade. My first time to attend was the beginning of the school year kick-off party. I knew absolutely no one yet everyone was so welcoming. Youth Group has helped me grow in my faith greatly and also as a person. Every Tuesday I can't wait to go see the people that make me laugh and smile no matter how sad I feel. Everyone shows unconditional love. Each time I walk into Youth Group I'm greeted with “Hi IKEA!” and every time I smile so wide in a bliss of happiness because I know people that make me so happy. Every Tuesday I see God though every smile we give to one another. I'm grateful to be able to experience this with such amazing people. - Aika Msechu
St. Vincent de Paul:
The doors open at 2:30. They file in one by one with looks of anticipation on their faces as they step up to the counter to receive their plate of food. “Oh, boy! Drumsticks!”, “This is my favorite!” or “This is the first hot meal I’ve had in days!”
They take their seats next to their fellow travelers and engage in light conversation. The sound of laughter and excited chatter fills the room as we continue to serve generous plates of food to grateful guests.
When they have finished their meal (with perhaps a few “refills”) they make their way to the door and offer a heartfelt “Thank you! That was delicious!” or “God bless you!” to us with a wave of their hand and the promise that they will be back next month.
For us, the kitchen workers, this outpouring of genuine gratefulness translates into a warm feeling of thankfulness on our part for the opportunity to serve them, some of whom have fallen on hard times. A hot meal served with a smile and friendly greeting enriches both the servers and the guests and helps us all forget for a few minutes about our troubles and anxieties.
Many of these guests have become familiar faces which we look forward to seeing again the following month. Some we see only once but regardless of the frequency of their visits, we thank God for the chance to bring even a small bit of happiness into their often-times damaged lives. - Charlotte Morse
Wednesday Night Live:
I saw an inspiring response to the Wednesday Night Live series that ran in September and October. Lots of kids, teens, families and people of every generation, people new to the congregation as well as long-time members formed a midweek community within our congregation's larger caring community. We got together midweek to have some warm fellowship, worship time, a bit of a snack and a chance to share our spiritual lives more intimately in small groups, including a group for children and one for teens. (By the grace of God, our discussion of the "Storyteller" sermon series even helped me find a job!) It's hard for families to sustain that kind of midweek time commitment over the long haul, but I feel sure we will return periodically to do more Wednesday Night Live. - Lynne Larock