During a recent staff meeting at the Jacksonville Baptist Association, the following incident was shared and sent around through the JBA’s online newsletter. Thought that, as our year ends, you can see again the difference you make in the lives of people…some you will never meet.
Walter Bennett shared about a beautiful moment he had experienced this past week. While serving as interim pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church they have been serving the needs of their local public elementary school, Normandy Village Elementary. This particular school serves some of the most under resourced children in our city. One of the needs the principal had expressed to Walter was that many of the children did not have winter coats and come were coming to school in t-shirts on the coldest days.
Meanwhile, Macedonia Baptist and Fruit Cove Baptist congregations have been exploring a church revitalization partnership. When Walter discussed the need of this elementary school with both congregations – they responded. Pastor Tim Maynard stood before his congregation and put the call out for members to respond by donating the coats in just a couple of weeks before winter break. He had one request – please donate new coats as some of these children have never had the joy of tearing off the tags of a new coat. Members of both congregations responded with missional generosity and this past week they were able to deliver over (460) coats, which nearly all of them were new, to this school – providing a coat for EVERY child in the elementary school. As the coats were being distributed the volunteers and school administrators stood by with tears in their eyes knowing that every child would have the opportunity to stay warm this Christmas season.
The church was also able to place a tag on each coat indicating the donation on the part of Macedonia. As their local church, it was important to Fruit Cove that they could help enhance the relationship between Macedonia BC and their partner school. What a beautiful picture of churches collaborating together in a selfless way! What a beautiful picture of engaging our city! What a beautiful picture of the gospel! (From JBA Newsletter)
And what a great way to celebrate “the Reason for the Season!”