There are certain days in every year that are special to us for one reason or another - birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, to name a few...Wednesday happened to be one of those days for me, for then Rev. Pfleider and Mr. Hogg dove into the Vacation Bible School resource kit to map out now what is one of the greatest weeks of our year!

I find it timely because in the last e-mail I sent we highlighted VBS as one of our great 2014 moments; thinking of those days and anticipating what all is possible for the upcoming year truly gets me fired up, for there is no better sound within a church than children buzzing with the joy of diving into God's grace in this way.

This also gets me thinking about how the ministries of the church can deeply impact people's lives within and beyond the walls of our church. Within the walls, not because of the children of our congregation who attend, but within our walls because when we come together to work as one we not only do ministry but, more importantly, become community as it takes a lot of dedication and grace in the months leading up to, the week of, and in the aftermath, for any VBS program to be as successful as ours!

Beyond the walls, weeks like this allow us to introduce ourselves to those within our mission field who may not otherwise have darkened our doors - whether or not they are active members of another church or no church at all, it is our honor to welcome them and shower them with God's grace and love, no matter their response.

It's this thought that I want to unpack briefly, for none of us knows exactly how God will use us to make a difference in someone's life. In fact, there are no guarantees that we will ever see or know how events like VBS or Fall Fest touch someone, if in fact they are touched at all.

And you know what? That's OK. 

Why is that OK? Because we are in the business of extending grace to all - within and beyond our walls. We extend grace not because of what we get out of it; we extend grace because it is who we have been called to embody by Christ our Lord. Jesus Christ himself gave his life knowing that not all would accept the gift of reconciliation and redemption he was offering, and yet he did it anyway because he knew that he was offering the world the one thing that could be found nowhere else - complete, total, unconditional love and reconciliation with God.

As we move deeper into 2015, the challenge before us all, as individuals and as a church, is to grab the moments to give and receive God's grace not in expectation of a return, but in the expectation that it is not us, but God working through us to let all of creation know of the Creator's love.

Grace and Peace, Lamar