Sunday, January 14, 2007

part of the family

This morning Dad preached at a small church in the next county that is currently without a pastor. He has preached at this church several times in the last year and ½. This little church, Sugar Grove, has some very faithful members who show up each week regardless of the difficult times their congregation might face. And regardless of the health problems they may be going through. And regardless of the fact that they no longer have a pianist or a regular pastor. They show up each week because Sugar Grove is their church and they are loyal members and they want to worship their God. They have what my dad would call a “Holy Habit”. Each week this small congregation spends time listening to one another needs and praises. Announcements, prayer request and praise report time may last 10 minutes or more. It’s something that we in the larger churches don’t/can’t always do. However, the people of Sugar Grove are a family who knows what is going on in each other’s lives and care for one another as we, The Church, are called to do.

During prayer time this morning their lay leader, Virginia, shared that she was grateful for a man in their church who had helped her out with a difficult task this week. She had lost her 12-year-old dog who passed way very quietly on her front porch. This man came to Virginia’s house and helped bury her pet. Her voice broke and her eyes welled up as she shared this story. And my eyes teared up, too. A few moments later a young woman, who had recently had surgery, shared that she was also grateful for that same man. He had been bringing her to church each Sunday during her recuperation while she cannot drive. Each time I have visited that church with Mom and Dad I am inspired in many way by the people of Sugar Grove. Mostly because they are just being The Church and living out their faith in very simple, but very real ways.
Since Dad has taken disability leave I don’t get him to hear him preach very often. His sermons are something that I have learned not to take for granted and I jump at the chance to hear him preach. During Dad’s sermon this morning something of a rite of passage occurred in Derby’s life. He became a bonafide member of the John Coomer family when, for the first time, he became a sermon illustration. Welcome to the family, Derb.


Katie said...

What a great post.

And what a cute puppy.

Anonymous said...

Derb is to cute!

I am "tagging" you to tell 5 things about yourself that no one knows. I was tagged by someone and I did it, now it's your turn!

Jennifer Coomer said...

Yeah! I'll work on that. Thanks Tracy.