Meg Guthrie is a middle school student involved in ryeX, the Youth Ministry of Roswell Presbyterian Church. Meg's mother, Ellen Whipple, and she were discussing tithing over the summer and Meg wanted to know more about the specific ministries at RPC and how she could give to the church.
Following Meg's initiative, Ellen arranged for her to talk with Rev. Mary Cox, RPC's Associate Pastor for Mission Outreach. Meg shared about her highlight of the summer being the Chattanooga Mission Trip. Meg was part of a group of 33 middle school students, leaders, and RPC staff who spent almost a week in Chattanooga working in partnership with Son Servants.
Son Servants' aim is to provide quality experiences that can be carried back to the local church and, with God's help, into a lifetime of service. The objective of the Chattanooga Mission Trip is that students will deepen their walks with Christ and experience Christian community with others from the United States. During the mission trip, the ryeX group was doing home maintenance projects (roofing, yard work, painting, etc.) while partnering with two local ministries in Chattanooga. One was Widows Harvest Ministries which responds to the needs of widows in distress and the other was P52 (Project 52) which serves those individuals or families who are socio-economically challenged due to financial crisis, natural disaster, physical disability, and emotional distress including widows, the elderly, and those living below the poverty line.
The middle school students were challenged to imitate Christ's humility during their week in Chattanooga and every week because in order to love the way Jesus did, they have to think of themselves less. Every night, the ryeX group reflected on where they saw God throughout their day and ended with a time of affirmation. They talked about shifting their focus from themselves to God and to think about how you love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. To love God with all your heart, He has to be your treasure. To love God with all your soul, you have to live into how He uniquely created you and use those gifts to point to God. And to love God with all your mind, you have to fill it with things that bring you closer to Him and reflect His character.
As they ended their time in Chattanooga, the group talked about putting their faith into action. Their faith isn't meant to be kept to themselves. Living out their faith is a response to all that God has done for them, and so they should be doing everything they do as if they were doing it for God.
One of the things that Meg and Rev. Mary Cox talked in length about was giving in response to God's love and giving to the ministry of the church. Meg's maturity shined bright during this discussion and with her decision that she was showing she trusts God and the Session and leaders of the church to control how the money is spent. It was very obvious that during her time in Chattanooga, Meg grew in her faith and love of God.
With gratitude and thankfulness, Ellen stated, "A huge shout out to the entire Middle School Ministry program - my child's faith has grown exponentially this summer. It is a pretty cool thing to watch!"
The Path to Gratitude: Generosity
Living a generous life is the third step on the path to gratitude. When we are generous, God is pleased to provide for the needs of the local church such as programs and staff. But even more, our generosity allows for God to work above and beyond the local church into our community and world.
What are you grateful for...?