Our World Within Weekend was that rarest of experiments that actually produces better results than the experimenters dared hope! Some highlights:
We started the final week of registration with about 40 sign-ups, but by Saturday we were serving lunch to almost 120! For many, it was their first experience of the self-care practices of chair yoga, mindfulness practices, and centering prayer. People came in larger-than-expected numbers for marriage enrichment and grief therapy, and some forty people did their end-of-life planning so they can give that gift to their loved ones.
At our Caregiver Dinner on Saturday night, 15 volunteers created a beautiful space for peaceful rest, play and nourishment for 25 caregivers—those church members we may see only rarely because of the heavy demands of caregiving. Six of them had their first-ever chair massage. People struggling under similar burdens met for the first time and shared a sympathetic communion over a delicious meal. In that ironic dynamic we see in ministry, we got more “thank yous” from our hardworking volunteers than we got from our guests.
On Sunday morning, two lay-leaders who have been working in similar Pastoral Care ministries for years met in person for the first time, simply because we got them in the same room. People found help they needed that they didn’t know existed, and they found it at church.
Thank you for your support and participation in our effort to—as Jim says—“make a space for God to do God’s work.” It is a sign of God’s faithfulness that the less we tried to micro-manage this event, the more good seemed to come from it. You are truly a caring congregation, but don’t forget: you cannot give what you have not received. Take time to receive God’s care for you this week!