You are a beloved child of God

Dearly Beloved,

This past Sunday, as I headed out after church and youth group, three people paused in the shade to the east of our building to catch their breath. Two men and a woman, they all looked like they were down on their luck -- like life has dealt them more than their fair share of hardship. I deposited my armful of bags into my car trunk and then went over to say hello.
As I approached, one man held up his hands, "We're just pausing to catch our breath. We'll be on our way shortly." 
"I just wanted to introduce myself," I say. 
"This is the pastor," the other man tells his friends. "She was talking about blessings the other day -- how blessings are meant to be passed on." He turns to me: "I remember that's what you were saying." 
I smile, "You remember that service well! You're always welcome! You're all always welcome." We exchange names, and I shake hands. Then I ask if they would like snack bags: "Our youth just assembled them." 
"Sure!"
I feel grateful for something to share. I hurry back into the building, grab three of the freshly assembled bags and 3 gatorades out of the fridge. 

It's not a big thing, those snack bags. Each one has a couple of granola bars, some crackers, nuts or beef jerky and a tootsie roll pop. These are the snacks you all donated and that our youth put into bags. But they are something, and they offer a chance to engage with hospitality and generosity. To say, "I see you and you matter. You are a beloved child of God." 

I was reminded of that same message on Tuesday evening as I sat listening to scripture and singing hymns at Worship Night. As we lifted our voices together, spread out in the sanctuary, I could feel that message: "I see you and you matter. You are a beloved child of God." 

I hope you'll join us on Sunday as we celebrate that message by blessing and dedicating Giovanni and Celia Glantz and as we bless our prayer shawl ministry and the varied work of our hands. Please do bring work tools, art or cooking supplies, or anything else that you use to work with your hands. Together, we will bless all of those things! 

With love and gratitude,
Thandiwe