Thursday, November 18, 2010

Grace, Peace and Holy Laughter!

Yesterday evening was our church Heifer Market "alternative giving" event. Each ministry team sponsored a booth featuring a different animal. The fellowship hall was a riot of farmyard festivity!

To the best of my recollection, we sold shares in bees, pigs, heifers, water-buffalo, llamas, sheep, chicks, goats and rabbits. Actual live animals will be going to villages in impoverished regions of the world, along with training in animal husbandry, follow up and accountability. It's an awesome mission.

Our market - recognized by Heifer international as one of the consistently best in the U.S.A. - also featured a "World Village" with statistics on hunger, the opportunity to purchase indigenous crafts, and a representative food-portion display color-coded to the sticker we were each given on admission.

There was also food galore, with all proceeds going to help the mission.

What always overwhelms me about this event is the unbridled enthusiasm this church brings to mission. The parking-lot was full; the fellowship hall was overflowing with people; the participants went overboard with costumes and fun and displays and fun and generosity and fun and ... did I mention "fun"?

And (three days after making pledges to the 2011 church budget and four days before voting on financing for our $1.5 million campus expansion), people defied the "recession-economy" and gave around $14,000 for the work of Heifer International. We'll most certainly be over our $15,000 goal by the time we close the books around Christmas!

There's a spirit to this place that can only be understood in the middle of a crowded fellowship hall... watching the senior pastor have a serious conversation about faith while wearing an inflatable pig-suit... while members of the youth group literally buzzzzzzz around in bee costumes.... across from the men's breakfast prayer-group hawking goats in "I'm an old goat" t-shirts... as one of our young-adults "milks" a full-sized wooden cow... amidst peals of laughter, laughter, and laughter.

It's a holy mirth. A vibrant, Jesus-following, service-oriented community of faith is a great place to be! Talk about your good times! Don't tell me Presbyterians don't (or shouldn't) have fun....

Grace, and Peace, and peals of Holy Laughter! - DEREK

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