In 2016 the Union Cross Moravian Congregation in Winston-Salem, NC had a decision to make. They owned a home adjacent to their property that they had been renting and was now vacant. The obvious options for their Church Council were to continue renting the house and use the proceeds to help them make ends meet, or to sell it and invest that money for the benefit of the church. They chose neither. Instead decided they would use it for “mission purposes.”
Over the past two years they have refurbished the house and it is now a wonderful guest house for international guests and other “mission-related” folks. People from at least 5 countries have already stayed in the house.
On Sunday, September 30, 2018 Bishop Sam Gray (BWM’s Director of Mission Outreach) and BWM Intern Gabriela Vela (from Peru) led a dedication service for the mission house. It was a wonderful moment for the congregation to be able to affirm this ministry. In his reflections Bishop Gray used a very rarely read New Testament letter (3 John) in which the writer is thanking someone for offering hospitality. Something we should all do with the blessings that we have. In addition to Bishop Sam’s reflection they used a short dedication liturgy which included the following passage:
“Love each other as if your life depended on it… Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you… that way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything.” (I Peter 4:8 – 11)
A fitting text for us all to consider the ways in which we can share the blessings that have been freely given to each of us.