Small Churches Have Many Blessings

While Gregory Memorial Church seats close to 200 comfortably, we tend to count it a good Sunday if we come close to about 25 percent of that. While some might find that disheartening, such a view overlooks the gifts that are in abundant evidence from the people who faithfully gather each week.

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Gregory Memorial Church in Prince George County was founded 125 years ago.

These are people who offer up creativity, imagination, energy, and dedication in service to Christ's ministry here. We have to, because oftentimes other options aren’t available. Addressing needs ourselves is a gift and a celebration of the resources and talents we have at our disposal.

During the pandemic, we've been able to broadcast our worship weekly on Sunday morning via live streaming, using a personal cell phone and data plan. It's crude but effective and it gets the word out. Many of our congregation are grateful that we provide a creative and resourceful offering for them on Sunday mornings.

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Rev. Jason Cashing's view of Gregory Memorial's sanctuary as he delivers his sermons remotely to the faithful at home.

And we are grateful for the blessings our members share in the form of skills, trades, and even pure curiosity. We know we wouldn't be able to continue  without these.

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When a window was broken in an attempted break-in, a member fixed it for the simple cost of a pane of glass.
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In the fellowship hall, several light fixtures have recently been replaced by a church member who dedicated his time and resources to rewiring and changing ballasts.

Curiosity takes us far. When a toilet broke the day before a major funeral, I turned to YouTube for a repair lesson. We didn't have time or finances to bring in a plumber to do a rush job after hours.

Small churches, this one included, may not always seem to stack up when compared with well-to-do churches that have seemingly unending resources. But what that opens up for us is the ability to live into our calling to be creative, adaptive, strategic, and resourceful as we practice good and faithful stewardship. This stewardship is not just of finances but of people's gifts and interests.

We rally as a covenant people bound together, not only in Christ’s mission, but in the common goal of doing that good and faithful work together, recognizing that unless we all travel together none of us will arrive individually. These are joyous blessings and joyous people indeed.

Thanks be to God.