By this time (into my 3rd year here) I figure people know me well enough that they know I can’t resist a humorous story or funny twist to a story. One of the great joys we have at Asbury is that when God moves and taps someone on the shoulder to engage in ministry in a new way our first response is “GREAT! How can we help make it happen.” That’s one great strength of the people and leaders of Asbury – they give support and permission for people to do ministry. The humorous story I have centers around a new ministry that is just in the birthing stage.
The ministry has an official name now – Blankets & Blessings. It is a ministry that will provide crocheted blankets for hospice patients (terminally ill). They will be delivered with a card that explains they are a gift given by God through Asbury UMC. The funny part is what I heard about the initial meeting that happened on Sunday. Rumor has it that other names were suggested. Before I tell you the names you need to understand that crochet work is done using “hooked” needles, the hooks pulling the yarn where it needs to go. With that in mind, there was the suggestion given to use “Happy Hookers” as the name. Someone else recommended just telling people their ministry was “hooking for Jesus”. I’m still laughing about this! I want to use the name somehow, even though I realize some may not understand or agree with my sense of humor. I do think we need to remember that God does have a sense of humor, too, and I believe God appreciates a good joke – even one that seems a bit twisted.
Anyway, on a more serious note, Sunday worship was again a highlight of my week. We did some things a bit different yesterday because we wanted to offer a special blessing for all our students and teachers. And what a great sight to see – so many teachers and students gathered in the front of our church, so many people coming up to lay hands of blessing on them and to pray for them. The forces of evil that move in our world have been put on notice that these teachers and students are protected with a heavenly force.
I also need to back up a bit and mention Friday night and Saturday morning – the CrossTalk Youth lock-in. I dropped our kids off on Friday and knew they had invited others to come. But when I got to the church Saturday I saw lots of strange youth – not strange in the weird sense, but strange in the “I-don’t-know-them” sense. That was great! Our church, through our youth ministry, had a chance to touch the lives of teenagers in our community. We are answering the call God has put on our church. We are beginning to live into the vision of a church that does significant, important, exciting ministry with youth and children and their families!
I pray that you are finding your place to get engaged in this great work of God. Serving in the church by ushering, mission outreach, “hooking”, greeting, helping set up for the Asbury Bible Cafe (which begins in September by the way, and we do need help) – those are things you can do to be a part of what God is doing to touch people’s lives with the blessings of joy and peace and over-the-top excitement.
Holy high-five to you. Mike.