What a great Sunday! We had a lot of fun launching a new program year during our Fall Kickoff.
The energy of the day reminded me of another celebration we had in May – our church’s 100-year birthday party. Both were times of joy and excitement. Both featured great fellowship and (let’s not forget) delicious treats!
And both also left us with an important question… “What’s my next step?”
Now if you want to skip right to some practical ideas, jump to the end of this article. Otherwise, let’s take a look back for a moment.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Browncroft’s centennial and all the people who made — and continue to make — this church the beautiful family that it is. Looking back on our history, I see examples over and over again of people committed to biblical truth and to practically investing in one another and the community around them.
Among the artifacts I’ve come across this year (I embrace Pastor John Iamaio calling me “Indiana Mercer”), one of my favorites is this picture:
It shows a Browncrofter doing some heavy lifting to get the church’s previous Winton Road location built. Members of the congregation served with literal sweat, probably blood, and I’m sure a few tears (either from joy or hammers that missed the mark). To me it’s a picture of service.
But that’s not the only way to serve. Case in point, here’s another of my favorite Browncroft artifacts:
This is a financial statement summing up the activities of the church in 1927 – just 5 years after its founding.
One value you can see immediately in the young congregation is generosity. The statement shows support for ministries at work around the globe, as well as right in Rochester (including Rochester Gospel Tabernacle… now known as RFMission… in its inaugural year).
But the form also shows expenses for gifts of clothing and coal. And for Sunday School ministry. And for a choir and hymn books… just to name a few.
Behind each of those expenses are people — people delivering clothing and coal to neighbors in need. People teaching children about Christ and His love. And people using their musical gifts to draw the community closer to Jesus.
Continuing the Story
What gets me excited is that we get to be part of that story today.
Some of the needs in front of us have changed (you probably don’t need to haul any lumber), but others have not. We continue to raise our voices in song, we continue to teach children and one another in small groups, and we continue to have opportunities in Rochester and beyond to invest our time, talent, and treasure in ministry.
And that brings us back to the question of the centennial and our Fall Kickoff… “What’s my next step?”
While that is a question deserving of prayer and reflection, let me steer you to a couple buttons on our Fall Kickoff webpage for consideration. If you click “groups” you’ll find a wide variety of opportunities to plug in to community with other Browncrofters. And if you click “serve,” you’ll find a number of ways you can help Browncroft teams right now. For example,
- Have you ever worked at Starbucks or another coffee shop? We need baristas who can serve up good coffee and a smile on Sunday mornings!
- Do you have a knack for finances? Guess what? Our congregational care team is looking for someone who could volunteer to help others as a budget coach.
- Do you have a hobby of taking pictures? My communications team is always on the lookout for Browncrofters willing to help tell the story of what’s happening at our church on Sunday mornings through engaging digital photos.
Those are just a few of numerous opportunities to help at Browncroft right now. In fact, I didn’t even mention opportunities on greeting teams, family ministry, or Sunday service production. But you can find them all by clicking that serve button (or click the one at the end of this article).
Just as He has for 100 years, I know God will bless us as He points us to next steps. I’m excited to see what He has in store in the months and years ahead!