Friday Advent Devotion with Dick Formica
Today's advent devotion was written by CUMC's Mission Chair, Richard Formica:
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday. - Isaiah 58:10
A few weeks ago, CUMC hosted a ‘potato drop’ as part of our mission ministry. (It was also testament to the power of one– it was planned, coordinated, and led by Nora Collinsworth for her Girl Scout Gold Award project).
Early that morning, I went to the kitchen. The Fellowship Hall was empty. The Narthex was quiet. The sanctuary dark and still. I felt a sense of an empty church. Constrained by COVID, the church seemed lonely and distant.
But as I returned to the hallway, it was lined with boxes filled with orange mesh bags, pre-cut and labeled for those organizations that would receive potatoes that day. The ROC was set-up as part of our incredible food ministry led by Phil Mohr, Jeremy Vest, and volunteers from both CUMC and KUMC. Canned vegetables, rice and beans, other non-perishable foods, and household cleaning products ready for the next packing event.
Back outside, the parking lot became a hubbub of activity. Masked and socially distant, people were filling bags of potatoes; runners delivering them to designated bins. Praise music in the air. The place was alive. People, young and old. Individuals, couples, families. Members of CUMC and KUMC. Girl Scouts and Scout leaders. And so many others. All giving of themselves on Halloween Saturday to feed others. The hands and feet of Christ in motion at the CUMC parking lot.
At one point, Phil commented to me, ‘this is what Church should be’. And then it hit me. CUMC is not an empty church constrained by COVID. It’s a transformed church that has come alive – invigorated by an already strong mission ministry. Meeting the needs of our community despite COVID.
And that sense of emptiness was gone, replaced by a sense of awe and gratitude for a vibrant, transformed Centreville United Methodist Church.