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Image by Casey Horner


This month Rev. Dr. Jennifer Ackerman asked us to share some of the ways we’ve experienced welcome, whether through gratitude, generosity, hospitality, or belonging. The following are just a few responses we received from our members:

Unending Gratitude

  • We are very glad Jennifer Ackerman is back with us and we get to keep her!

  • Reached out to a friend and began texting things together we were grateful for and it allowed us to focus each day. We became more aware of Gods blessings, how to be thankful - we grew closer together and had a great exchange.

  • Made a list of things I was thankful for my father, had more appreciation of how he treated me in my life with him.

  • I'm grateful for the people that do so much with the upkeep of the church grounds, people who take the effort to make our community look great, and dry fall leaves that blow in the wind.

Unmerited Generosity

  • Providing students more time during grading rather than strictly following the rules and schedule.

  • Saw a person at corner near Costco after picking up a roasted chicken and heard a voice to give him the chicken the chicken. I did and they were very grateful.

  • During ACT testing for children with special needs, brought treats and drinks to get them through the 3-hour period

  • Had a medical appointment and brought brownies for the staff – they all thought they were supposed to be serving her and her she was serving them.

  • When I was checking out at the self-check, an older woman in front of me finished ringing up her groceries and when she went to pay for them realized she did not have her wallet in her purse. So when she went out to her car to look for it, I paid for her groceries.

Uncomfortable Hospitality

  • Got a blood test at the clinic, found a confused person and helped them sign in – they were so relieved and we had a lovely experience chatting together.

  • When PPS teachers went on strike and our school's childcare program had nowhere to go - MPC said yes to hosting them at the Open Door. Approximately 50 families who live in this area were able to receive care and have a place for their kids to go who would otherwise have been stuck at home. It enabled families to work, and showed great hospitality to our community. Campfire staff and families reiterated again and again how grateful they were to MPC for opening their doors to them. It was an example of being inclusive, big hearted and showing God's love to everyone - not just to your typical church goers. And it made us proud to say this is where we go to church. Thank you for saying yes and being a church that is giving and hospitable.

  • Opportunity to reconcile with a son and see their baby for the first time, an answer to prayer.

  • Our family participated in the Westside Dinner this year for the first time. We weren't sure what to expect - but it gave us a chance to show God's love to people in our community who may be different than us. Our kids learned through example how to serve others, and to show great hospitality as a church. We had fun doing it and even connected with one of the attendees over her pets. I asked the kids what we gave and what we received that night - and they said we gave pie (true) and we received dinner (also true) - but we also received joy by giving our time. We enjoyed the ukelele music too!

Unexpected Belonging

  • Glad for healing and to be back with the congregation.

  • I felt I belonged to God and "out of the tree" during a series of events when I knew God was there, God made a difference, ONLY God could have made that happen. Because of those God-events I believed he WAS in my life and I did belong to Him. Each day as I look for God, I find Him and remind myself I DO belong to Him.

  • Even though I am mostly online and haven't attended many church functions, I have felt nothing but welcome and grace from everyone here. I've seen the efforts to expand the welcome of this church to the local and marginalized communities and am excited to share in that belonging.

We have set up a non-profit account with BottleDrop to create an easy way to help build the Youth Mission Fund - after the huge airfares of this year's trip, the account is completely dry! All you need to do is pick up one of our blue BottleDrop bags at church, and fill it with drink cans & bottles.

Some important things to know:

  • Do not crush your cans/bottles

  • Make sure cans/bottles are empty

  • Do not remove any labels or barcodes

  • Make sure the bag can close

  • Glass bottles are fine, but there is a 30 glass or 20lb limit

Once your bag is filled, you can either bring it back to the church or drop it at a BottleDrop Center or Retail Partner (grocery stores that waive the 8% processing fee) - check their site for locations. There is no individual counting needed; bags with our code are counted by BottleDrop and the can/bottle deposits go straight into our Youth Mission Fund - about $6 per bag!

We're excited to see what happens with this new fundraising effort, and appreciate everyone pitching in because, as we have learned, it's a lot of small donations that make this very big trip possible each year.

If you have any questions, contact Heather or check the BottleDrop FAQ.

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