Imagine. A typical Sunday morning. Church service. Seven people are being initiated into church members. The pastor is reading the mass, the candidates are responding and the audience is echoing them. Nothing special, right?
Wrong. On the contrary, that is the most wonderful, the most significant day of the week – Sunday. That is the day of the Lord. The day of worship, the day of glory. And even more important has that day become for Samara UMC because it had been opening its warm embrace to the new brothers and sisters. On that day 7 people announced their commitment as members of the church.
What does it mean? It means that the church has become 7 times richer: with 7 pairs of hands willing to do good in the name of God, with 7 pairs of legs running to help those in need, with 7 hearts lit up by the Holy Spirit and with an endless number of priceless gifts that will be used to keep the church flourishing and welcoming new people.
“Too idealistic” – you might say. Maybe, in a way. It may be that not all members and not always contribute their material gifts to the church, not all the time are their hands busy with serving the others but more often are they busy with secular things at work, at home and by the end of the day too tired to rise up to something more. Sometimes our hearts are just not yet fully open to God and filled with His Holy Spirit. Sometimes our gifts have not yet been revealed to us. But let us not focus on our flaws and misfortunes as that is not the way the Lord sees us. For He sees us what we are in perspective, the way He has meant us to become: faithful, loving, strong, sympathetic, ready to give and sacrifice, humble and obedient.
These and many more are the things our new members will be learning to do and understand.
And I do hope that our congregation will accept these new people as they are, as they have been created by our Lord and will become for these people a home, a model of faith, love and service.
Congratulations to the new members of Samara UMC: Sergey Shilling, Kseniya Shilling, Elena Lipatova, Elena Senatorova, Maxim Kvyatkovskiy, Aleksey Voronov and Sergei Kostrov!
The article written by Sasha Voronova
Translation of Maria Tighina