God and Grace Moments
Allow me to share 3 quick “God/grace Moments” experienced here at Holy Trinity.
1 – At Camp Agape during the summer each counselor is encouraged to share a brief “grace moment” in their lives at a camp fire each week. During my week at surf camp one of our camp counselors shared that there was a particular church who welcomed him when he was looking for a new church home. He shared he was new to the area, at a new school, and he was looking for a new Christian tradition to call home. Through our welcoming of him to our outdoor worship service, people offering their smiles, food and even their chair to sit in, he became a member of our community of faith. This camp counselor was James Demmel, a recent graduate of Duke Divinity School and who is heading off to do a Lutheran year at a Lutheran Seminary.
2 – Being close to some of the top hospitals in the nation we often have visitors who do their residency or Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at UNC, Duke or Wake Med. This summer we had two CPE students who are going through seminary and they spent the summer worshipping with us. On his last Sunday here Henry shared this note with us, “There is no way I could have done the 11 weeks of CPE without this church family. Processing with the pastors, joining in pick-up choirs, enjoying pot-luck meals… getting to go to YoPump with LCM students, and finding normalcy, rootedness and comfort in the Lutheran liturgy provided me with spiritual sustenance to serve other, and to further learn how to serve myself. I am forever grateful for this parish at large.”
3 – A few weeks ago we had a message on the church voicemail from Sam. Sam shared that he lives in Minnesota but was visiting the area and he had visited our congregation for worship. He shared he read our Rosemary Tymes (yay! People read this!) and was impressed with all the ministries we had going on, but one ministry stood out for him. Sam is a science teacher and he wanted to know more about our STEAM (Science and Theology for Emerging Adult Ministries) project. Sam wanted to know how he could get this going in his home congregation. I was able to talk with him for about an hour to share with him what we have been doing and how he could do something similar back home.
I share these with you for a few reasons. I want you to know the reach and impact we have on people’s lives even if you don’t hear about it or if you have never met these individuals, and to celebrate with you that we are a welcoming and inviting congregation. I want to encourage and challenge you to continue to be a welcoming and inviting congregation. Be intentional in meeting new people, share a smile with those you don’t know or meet for the first time.
We are so grateful that James, Sam and Henry was able to experience God’s grace at Holy Trinity! We are not perfect (no church or person is) by any means, but we do hope everyone who walks through our doors will experience the love and grace of God in their lives.
In this time of transition; from summer to a new school year, new schedules and routines, perhaps a new school, roommate, job or vocational calling…
I hope and pray you will still see the God and grace moments in your life.
I encourage and challenge you to partner with me in this community of faith to continue to be a welcoming place for those hunger for God’s grace.
Do you have a God and grace moment to share?
Would you like to process how God is working in your life?
Do you need extra ears and eyes and hands to help you through any transition?
Pastor Mark and I, and your Holy Trinity staff and members, are here for you.
Loving God and Loving Neighbor with you,
Pastor Will Rose