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By Mike Mccauley on
Mike Mccauley
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Feb 03 in Musings
So, the Annual Meeting of the Congregation has come and gone. Last Sunday, the Mears Center was full of round tables and people.  Elder Jack Hardgrave was a gracious host. The choir did a rousing spiritual, “Ride On, King Jesus!”  We celebrated the ministry of the Hartsock House in word and pictures. Special long-time service awards were given to Daisy Vollrath (Children’s Ministry) and Gene Wohlberg (visitation), who have blessed so many for so long. The positive financial end to 2016 was applauded, and a brief sketch of the 2017 budget given. We prayed. We sang.  Two short videos helped us to laugh at ourselves. The first was a skit about “intentionally shallow small groups.” The second was a comical reimagining of the tough act James had in following his brother...Jesus.  And then there were the testimonies.
This year, Grace Kim and Paul Stevens were brave enough to each take a few minutes and talk about God’s presence in their lives. Grace talked about second chances, and Paul spoke about how God’s presence has turned around his health, friendships and family. We were all mesmerized. There is something about hearing a concise testimony from real people, about real life. There is something about realizing that other people go through difficult challenges and find out along the way that God is with them. It is downright inspiring. Stories, especially true stories, are powerful.

We have had annual meetings like this for the past six years. After awhile, no one remembers exactly what the music was, or the topic of my scintillating pastoral remarks. The details of the snack or the humor fade away. But my experience is that our community remembers the faith stories. I regularly have people say “Well, like that woman shared at the annual meeting a couple years ago...” Or, “I remember Ron Iseli telling his story last year.”

Stories are powerful. They are meant to be shared. And I wonder- if YOU were given
three minutes and asked to share something about how God had been at work in your life recently, what would you say? Three minutes isn’t nearly long enough to talk about your whole life. But it is long enough to share a story or two. Try it out. It will be a good reminder for you, and an even better encouragement for the person who hears it.                         
            See you soon
                    Pastor Dan

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