At this moment, we are inundated with negativity, so I wanted to take a break and talk about something great…YOU! I mean it. You, the people of Restoration are amazing.
Maybe you can think of many reasons you are amazing…let me highlight just one. Over the past four months, you have been incredibly faithful in your giving. This shutdown has caused financial struggles for many, and without services every week, I would have expected our giving to take a dip. But because of our unique situation with our rented space and because of how we’ve structured our staff, we felt ready to weather this season.
But you responded. Since the shutdown began, we’ve seen a steady INCREASE in giving. Your generosity and faithfulness in this time is just one of the many ways you have proven how committed you are to Restoration and its mission of joining God in the restoration of all things.
Generosity leads to more generosity and with your continued giving, Restoration is able to bless others in need. Because our spending is down and income is up, we are uniquely able to serve and love others in this time of unprecedented need. That’s always been a part of our DNA, and since the shutdown we’ve had even more opportunities to love: covering rent, paying bills—we even purchased a new set of tires for a family. We’ve added a new mission partner to support monthly (Bonton Farms), and increased our support of other partners based on their needs during this time.
Just last week, I got a phone call from someone I had never met. His name was Eric and he explained to me that he had just paid his rent for the month, but did not have enough money for food for his family. He was calling to see if we could help them. Because of your generosity, I was able to respond without hesitation: Yes! My response was so quick and absolute that it literally caught him off guard. With his voice filled with emotion, he told me that we were the sixth church he had called that day and we were the first to offer help. I met with him the following day to give him the gift card, and I don’t know who was blessed more by our interaction, him or me.
This week, we also gave to a single mother in need. Mireya, like so many, found herself in a sudden crisis without any of the lifelines or support systems we take for granted. Our support gives her the margin to hold her family together in this difficult season.
I don’t highlight these examples to boast about our deeds like a Pharisee. And I don’t mean to say that the best way to love others is with money. I just want to share with you how we as a church are trying to meet your faithfulness in giving with our own faithfulness to our call to join God’s mission in the world.
That’s why I’d like to kick off an unofficial campaign I’m calling: ‘Live Out Love.’ This season in our church’s history has reminded us more than ever that we exist for the sake of others. And while we will always be a church focused on proclaiming the gospel of the love of Christ, we recognize in this time especially that the love of Christ works to restore all things—body, soul, and mind. And like Christ, our love will be made known by our willingness to sacrificially serve others.
None of this would be possible without you. You have boldly chosen to give, and now it’s up to all of us to follow the call of Christ as his Spirit leads us. I’m so thankful to be on mission with all of you.
If you would like to have a yard sign that says “Live out Love” as a reminder of what we are called to do and how we are to serve our communities you can sign up here by following this link. Starting Monday, July 13th, you can pick your sign up off my (Jed’s porch) or I am happy to deliver it straight to your yard. We have enough signs for everyone so we hope you will join us in living out love.
Thank you once again!
The Rev. Dr Jed Roseberry