June 26th was a beautiful day.
The morning at First Presbyterian Church, Springfield, IL, began with staff opening doors for all the day would hold. We have members participating in every aspect of the day, volunteering with every group, attending classes, praying together, listening to one another, and growing in faith.
Volunteers arrived to set up for the Garvey-Tubman Summer Arts camp, now in their third week of eight, Other volunteers opened the Social Services Desk of our Samaritan Ministries. They were soon followed by neighbors needing assistance getting birth certificates, state ID cards, and transportation to work and medical appointments. Parents brought 30 elementary-aged children for the arts camp, excited to make jewelry and music and listen to stories. The students will host an arts fair later this summer. We are invited!
A bit later, dancers and volunteers arrived for the Joy of Movement, class for those with Parkinson's. Dance helps with balance and mobility and it is fun! They left a thank you card (elsewhere in this newsletter) and a donation. Two of our members who are experienced docents opened the ramp door to the sanctuary and welcomed guests to tour the sanctuary, share its beauty, history, and our mission. We are needing to print new postcards of the restored windows since we are running out of the older ones. The new cards, like the windows, are brighter!
I visited the garden to check on neighbors and conditions and met two young adults who wanted to show me something. They had asked for sanitary gloves the day before and had picked up all the cigarette butts from the flower beds. The garden was lovely. Tim gave them gift cards to show our appreciation and our custodial staff were grateful. Thanks, neighbors, for helping us keep the space clean!
Members of the World Affairs Council arrived for a meeting and I visited with a political science professor about Cuba and how we might network. We are planning to meet later this summer and coordinate with our Cuba Partnership and Christian Formation on congregational education projects.
In the late afternoon, nurses from the hospitals and staff from Helping Hands arrived to welcome people to the Hands and Feet Clinic. They use the Capitol Street entrance and the Samaritan Ministries waiting room to wash the feet of neighbors, just like Jesus did at the Last Supper. They also provide referrals for following health care for those in need. Most need referrals.
Our members and guests arrived for Vespers, including kids and adults. David McDonna led the service. Susan Harris played. We shared a delicious potluck with lots of menu choices. We broke bread together as disciples did. Thanks cooks and bakers! Then some of us played Quiddler and others of us went outside to visit with neighbors experiencing homelessness.
This was just one day in the ministries of Lincolns' Church. Just one day. Just one beautiful, faithful day in the life of this thriving congregation.
Thanks to each and every one of you who show up, call, pray, attend, care, meet, learn, sing, reflect, serve, give, dance, make, laugh, hold, and love one another as God loves us!
Blessings of grace and peace,