• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Serving From Afar

One Sunday morning as I walked in church I was greeted by a new face! A friendly, smiling face. She asked if I had been here before and I realized I had left my name tag on my dresser. We visited a while and when I told her my name she acted like we were long lost friends. She said she always reads my blogs and that connection made her feel like she knew me already. She said it is so nice to put a face with a name. When she said she was a visitor I asked how she became a greeter that morning and that is when I got her story!

Her son and his family go to our church but they watch online from another state. When they come visit they make sure they come to church. She calls ahead to ask how she can serve on Sunday morning! That is how she was a greeter and a visitor! She was going to help clean up the kitchen when she finished greeting! That is so cool! But her service does not stop there! A few years ago when she was in town she helped with our big Christmas meal. Luke 6: 38, “ Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Because her grandchildren are home schooled she, sometimes, has the weekdays free when she is in Wilmington. When she can, she calls ahead and asks the church what she can do to help out and plans her week accordingly! She said, our church has "a place for everyone, no matter your age, ability or disability, to have an opportunity to serve. It is all inclusive. There are so many ways to serve - even long distance!” Galatians 6: 10, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Connections are so important! By visiting when she can, watching online, coffee with the pastors online and reading the blogs she is feeling connected! This is her church and she wants to serve! Hebrews 10: 24, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…”

1 Peter 4: 10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Use your gifts to serve others and to make connections. You will be blessed! Proverbs 11: 25, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Mother Theresa said, “Prayer in action is love, and love in action is service. Try to give unconditionally whatever a person needs in the moment. The point is to do something, however small, and show you care through your actions by giving your time … We are all God’s children so it is important to share His gifts. Do not worry about why problems exist in the world – just respond to people’s needs … "We feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but that ocean would be less without that drop.“

I have a friend from high school who visited last month from Pittsburgh. This was her second time to visit in person. Her church closed at the beginning of the pandemic and she began watching online. She has also gone to my small group with me when in town. She has done some social things where she met other members. She also feels a connection. Most of us need a connection. Proverbs 27: 17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

It is amazing to see God work, using the pandemic for His glory! While I may not like a lot of things about the media, God has sure brought a lot of good from it for His glory! Romans 8: 28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” IT is so wonderful to see a church growing and spreading the Good News!