Reflections on Discovering Joy Through Generosity
I wish I had more memories of my childhood. What I have are snapshots from different parts, different times. I wish I had more because many of those snapshots are of community. Being around people. Church service in Bibanga. Going to the river with classmates from Central School. Playing soccer with #10 cans because there were no balls.
I grew up, or at least my first 10 years, in Congo (Zaire), Africa. My parents were missionaries with the Presbyterian church – talk about giving of self. Certainly this has framed my perspective of giving and of the connectional (community) nature of the (Presbyterian) church.
I grew up in a family of seven where giving of Time, Talents and Treasure was the norm. I certainly remember times of selfishly rebelling against that norm, wanting to hold on to “mine”. I am so grateful that God stayed with me through that time. Still loving me. Still walking beside me. Still placing people in my path that would help me come back to a better path.
Barbara, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister father and Christian Educator mother, and I moved to St Augustine 21 years ago to be closer to her retired parents. For us it was a non-issue that we would be a part of a Presbyterian Church (USA).
I have been grateful over the years for this (MPC) community of faith. A community that allowed me to explore my faith and (spiritual) gifts through service as an elder, teacher, leader and participant.
I love being a part of the Presbyterian Church because it is a connectional church. I know that the time/talents I give here at Memorial actually reach out way beyond the walls of the sanctuary. I absolutely know that the money (treasure) I give spreads God’s Love and Word here and throughout the whole world!