Giving in gratitude. What does this mean? How do you give in gratitude? I believe to truly understand this concept, we must go deeper beyond the surface of the words.
As an Engineer by profession, I have lived by the concept of being open-minded for as long as I can remember. Being open-minded means being willing to listen to other people and consider new ideas, suggestions, and opinions. This is an essential practice in the logical world of problem solving and many people within our society practice being open-minded daily. As I find myself thinking deeper about being open-minded, I feel that something is missing. There is a missing component to balance out the logical aspect of the mind.
If someone practices being open-minded alone, they are missing the emotional connection. Sure, they will communicate effectively and even be able to work well with others, but they will never be able to connect on a deeper and more emotional level with others. To do this, you need to also be open-hearted. Being open-hearted is to be honest while expressing one's feelings without concealment and being willing to give generously. This is the true challenge today and something that I have personally struggled with. Being open-hearted is to be vulnerable by sharing your personal narrative with others no matter how hard it is. It means to be kind to all, no matter the circumstances. It means to give all that you can, above what is expected, in hopes that you can impact those that are in need. To truly give in gratitude, you need to first strive to open your heart and pour out to those around you.
In efforts to be open-hearted with our church family, Isabel and I want to share a small portion of our current story with you. In early August, we received the most exciting news. We were going to have a baby! Family is a big part of who I am today, and I have always looked forward to having a family of my own. Given that, our excitement was through the roof. For the last couple of months, we devoted our lives to planning everything out for our new addition to the family. Names were picked out, nursery plans were underway, and even reveal plans were in place for our families. The future was set in our minds. We were oblivious to the fact that God had different plans for our future. Late into September, we found out that we had a miscarriage. Nothing is more crushing than the sinking feeling of your future being ripped from you. Words cannot describe the overwhelming sadness that overcame our life within only a few seconds of receiving the bad news...
Through all the hurt and sadness that we have been feeling, there is some good that has come out of it. We have made ourselves vulnerable by opening our hearts to some members in our church family and in doing so, have fostered a deeper connection to them. This connection translates to a sense of belonging to the church and its members. This vulnerability has helped us find our gratitude for what we currently have and continue to grow within Trinity and our community. We will Give in gratitude.
So, I challenge you to open your heart. Be vulnerable with us. Tell us your story. Be kind to everyone, no matter the circumstances. Give generously. I promise you that the act of opening your heart will allow you to find your gratitude for what we have in our church. Please, give in gratitude with me.
Please complete your 2020 Estimate of Giving Card and turn it in during worship on or before October 27th or mail it to the church.
Trinity United Methodist Church
This morning we wrap up Trinity’s Fall Stewardship Campaign, “Setting the Table for Trinity: How Table Talk Shapes our Hospitality and Generosity.” We want to remind you we’ve set a goal to increase 2019 pledges by $20,000. If pledges increase by $20,000, we will be able to address our budget deficit and designate $5,000 toward Trinity’s Caring Fund. Two weeks ago we viewed a video during worship in the Great Room that talked about Trinity’s Caring Fund. You heard from some of the people whose lives have been impacted by our Caring Fund. Pledges are critical because they make sure our infrastructure (staffing, facilities, and administration) is in place to respond and carry out the work of ministry. Our church’s caring ministries impact the lives of people right here in our community. In addition to some of our direct engagement with individuals, your ministry is amplified through our partnerships with other community organizations. This morning Bob Lilly and Susie Riley will tell you about some of those people and one of those partnerships: Lafayette Urban Ministry’s Immigration Clinic.
See what people are saying about Trinity. Read and watch testimonies.