“I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Before we had kids, Rich and I enjoyed trying our hand at gardening. That’s one thing we had in Nebraska – plenty of good soil to grow our own fruits and vegetables. It’s a farming tradition to plant potatoes on Good Friday. Potatoes are some of the earliest seedlings you can plant. It can take up to 120 days for potatoes to be ready to eat, but they store well and can keep all winter. If you try to plant anything too early, the ground is just not ready yet – not only will it be difficult to till the frozen earth, the seedlings will freeze and die. Gardeners have to wait, to prepare, for planting season. That waiting, that preparation, makes sustaining life with nourishing food possible.
This March, our Stewardship Committee is asking us all to focus on the theme, “Bearing Fruit for Jesus.” In worship, in Bible study, and in a congregation-wide daily devotion time, we will reflect on how God gives us gifts of time, talents, and money as fruit for God’s kingdom. This is our time to prepare for planting season here at Faith. Our fiscal year begins in July, so we are asking you now to start thinking about what gifts or fruits you might be able to give back to God in terms of time, talents, and money given to our church. These decisions take time and discernment, like planting a garden. Look for more information coming soon about this effort.
This month is also Lent. The season of Lent will prepare us all to receive the good news of Christ’s resurrection. It might still look cold, brown, and dead outside, but just underneath the surface is the promise of new life: spring is coming! Easter is coming! The ground is thawing and getting ready to produce food for us again. As I continue in my first year as your pastor here at Faith, I have had the joy of working alongside you all as we plan, prepare, and dream of what fruit God might produce in us for ministry yet this year. We have energizing goals like implementing an English as a new language program at the church and hosting a special interfaith music event. Our Nursery School already has more than half of the registration spots for the 2020-2021 school year. Community groups are benefitting from the use of our space on a daily basis. We are increasing our online presence. Your generous gifts of time, talent, and treasure can help us accomplish our goals and bear more fruit. Here at Faith, we will strive to nurture and nourish your faith with scripture, prayer, worship, and service to our community so that you can bear fruit for Jesus.
Pastor Rebecca Sheridan