The Bible offers us all kinds of models of faithfulness. All of them are ordinary people, just like you and me. They answer God’s call with a resounding, “Yes!” But their responses didn’t always start so enthusiastically positive.
Before Jonah prophesied in Nineveh, he ran away from God’s invitation and ended up in the belly of a fish.
Jeremiah’s first response to God was “I’m too young”.
Moses’ first thought was “Shouldn’t you pick a better public speaker?”
Yet in the end, each of them landed on “Yes.” Each wound up becoming a prophet God used to speak truth to the people.
The one biblical figure who is quick to answer God’s call with an unwavering “Yes!” is Mary, the mother of Jesus. It was Mary’s faith-filled “Yes!” – despite extraordinarily challenging circumstances – that allowed God to carry out God’s plan to redeem the world through Jesus.
When I think about this church, I see Mary. We are a church that has forged its identity in our Conference and our community by saying “Yes!” again and again. You have said “Yes!” even in challenging times, even to risky endeavors, even when others say “No.”
This is what defines and distinguishes LAUMC from other churches. We say yes to establishing new partnerships and connections with organizations doing God’s work. We say yes to programs and initiatives that stretch our circle of compassion even wider. We say yes to taking meaningful risks to ensure that every life can flourish. This was our rallying cry long before I became a member at LAUMC. I hope it continues to be long after I’m gone.
Your ‘Yes’ matters. It always has.
Throughout the month of May, the Extravagant Generosity team will highlight the ways in which this church has said “Yes!”, in the past and more recently. We’ll let you know how your ‘Yes!’ is needed now, with a financial commitment that will help this church decide how much ministry it can and will do in the year ahead. After two years of pandemic losses, this collective ‘Yes!’ feels particularly important.
We’ve enclosed a commitment card so that you can begin now to think about the impact God might be inviting your “Yes!” to stretch toward this year. This campaign will culminate on Commitment Sunday, May 22. Your “Yes!” will build the capacity of this church to say “Yes!” again. Like Mary’s faith-filled response to God’s call, our collective “Yes!” today will empower this church to serve as a vessel of God’s love, justice, grace, and peace in our world for years to come.
On behalf of the whole Extravagant Generosity team, and all those whose lives have been changed by this church’s work for many years, thank you.
Extravagant Generosity Chair