05.16.16

Beautiful, beautiful
Jesus is beautiful,
And Jesus makes beautiful
Things of my life.

Carefully touching me,
causing my eyes to see.
Jesus makes beautiful
Things of my life.
~Dennis Cleveland

DEACONS blogTo this day a smile always comes to my face when I sit down to the piano to play and again I come across this simple song written for children. I remember my daughter, Christina, at the age of three. She would stand next to me as I played. She always rose up on her little toes, held her head up high and sang out so sweetly and confidently …. “Beeootiful, beeootiful, Jesus is beeootiful…..”

While many children have come to learn this sweet song over the years, I have come to realize that the truth of what it is saying is SO for each one of us no matter what age we are. Jesus loves each one of us and can truly make beautiful things of our lives.

Jesus did just that for his small rag­tag band of 12 Apostles. They were each very different people with very different personalities and character traits. He gathered them together, lived with them, accepted them for who they were, loved them all and taught them the good news of the Kingdom. His message: ­ the loving Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of all people. He modeled for his early followers a way of life that showed how much he loved each one of them as well as the many many people he came across during his itinerant ministry.

And then Jesus set this tired old world on a whole new course. Before his final Ascension, Jesus asked the twelve and the many disciples that had come to follow him to GO OUT into the world to build a Kingdom that these first century people could never possibly have imagined. Jesus said, “Trust me, I will never forsake you or leave you.” They believed him, trusted him, went out to build the Kingdom and even died for him. We are still building it today.

Jesus loves each one of us too. Doesn’t that just make you feel wonderful? Don’t you just want to trust in that and go out to live the “best” life you possibly can? Trusting in Jesus to guide you, learning to follow in his footsteps, finding more and more ways to love yourself, each other and ALL of God’s creation?!

At our April meeting, the Deacons received word that Session had approved our request to move forward in researching how our church could find a way to offer our Food Pantry as a “Consumer Choice” Model. That means we have been given the OK to explore and figure out how we could operate in a way that is more closely based on the “needs” of our individual clients. This would include setting up our Pantry in ways that permit the clients to make personal choices for themselves and their families based on food preferences and individual health needs. This means offering clients the freedom to choose foods they actually like and would eat as opposed to items that were uniformly and automatically placed ahead of time into every single bag that was would leave the building during each Saturday morning distribution.

It is hoped by Session and the Deacons that the result of the “Choice” Model will be more autonomy, more freedom to participate and more overall dignity in the process for the individuals and families that come. This will also result in a different way that the workers and volunteers will interact with people on Saturdays– helping to make selections, talking about preferences, talking about their families, assisting in the smooth flow of the entire operation as well as the movement of “traffic” through our facility.

Deacons will be looking into the nuts and bolts of how to make the “Choice” Model work. How will the check­-in be handled? How do we arrange shelving to make the operation efficient? Do we need to purchase additional shelving and storage space? Where and how do we store the food before and after distribution? How do we assist shoppers in making their choices? Do we need translators? How would we offer “options” and variety of choice while still maintaining a flow that is efficient, timely, personal and gracious?

The Deacons have work to do to implement the plan. Yet, we are eager and confident that as we pursue this inquiry in the spirit of Jesus’ teachings and example, we will be shown a way….that we will succeed. We trust that our prayerful consideration of the many factors that go into this will help make our Ministry to our neighbors and friends even more compassionate, dignified, caring and loving.

Help us move forward in faith to find ways to implement these changes. We thank you all for your continued support through your donations and service. We welcome you to join us in finding the many ways that Jesus can makes “beeootiful” things of your life, too! God bless you.

~Carol Thorne­-Gaetani for the Deacons

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