As many of you know, our church runs a benevolence program with generous gifts you give to the church. In addition to the offering we collect on communion Sunday, we have a small budget line that helps to contribute to this fund (sidenote: if you’ve ever wondered why your beloved deacons are standing by the doors on communion Sundays with offering plates in their hands, it’s for the benevolence fund!). When people call or stop by the church asking for assistance with their rent, a bus ticket out of town, food, or help with the utility bill, this is the fund we pull from to give some help to these folks in need.
This past month, I got a call from a young mother. She was very honest on the phone, naming her hesitancy to call and ask for help, but she said she didn’t know where else to turn. She said she was at work and couldn’t talk long, but she was a mother of two and living on her own for the first time. Eventually, she found herself in a tight spot after needing a repair on her car. This unexpected expense threw her for a loop so that when rent and daycare bills came due, she found herself short and very honestly said to me, “I just haven’t figured out this whole budget thing yet.”
I could hear the embarrassment, desperation, and fear in her voice as she shared her story with me. I am always humbled to interface on behalf of the church when providing funds for folks like this young woman. Many times folks reply, “You don’t know how big of a blessing this is for me,” or “You are literally a Godsend”. I take those responses and hold them near to my heart and lift them to God in thanks for YOU, the congregation of UBC. Because without your generous spirits and donations, we would not be able to offer these lifelines to folks who need them.
The church has always been a place of refuge. For these folks in need, in their time of desperation, they fling themselves before God hoping for a lifeline. While we are not a social service or government program, we are God’s church offering hope and peace where we can.
So I wanted to say thank you to you, the people of UBC, for providing the funds to help folks in need throughout our city. If you would like to give to the benevolence fund, please feel free to give online here (writing “benevolence” in the notes line) or look for those deacons at our next communion service (June 2, if you were curious) and drop some cash in the plate.
As the old spiritual goes, “You can’t beat God giving, no matter how you try… the more you give the more God gives to you.” Ain’t that the truth.
Peace, dear friends,