The Giving Room
Pat is the Associate Pastor for Congregational Care at First Presbyterian Church of Sioux Falls. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Pat Hammond
I am currently working my way through the book, The Patient Ferment of the Early Church: The Improbable Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire. The title pretty much describes the crux of the book – how on earth could Christianity grow in the midst of the most powerful (and repressive, brutal) empire on earth?
The answer might surprise you. Christianity grew and spread through the empire because non-believers saw how this band of Christians lived. That’s it. Our earliest Christian brothers and sisters learned about Jesus and all He taught, and they lived their life accordingly. In and amongst the chaos, power, and abuse of the mighty Roman Empire the followers of Jesus lived with compassion, mercy, and love. The Jesus followers noticed those around them who needed help, love, compassion and they shared what they had. They lived out their faith and they put their faith into action by first and foremost noticing others.
Today, we live in a very fast-paced world where it is easy to overlook someone, to not see them, or to not want to see them. We are often so busy or so distracted that we don’t notice people who are right in front of us. This is not how we as Christians are called to live. We are called to notice those people God places on our path. This might be a friend, neighbor, stranger, co-worker, classmate – notice them! Once you notice them, then you can respond as Jesus taught us to respond.
First Presbyterian Church’s Congregational Care Team (consisting of both pastors, the Congregational Care Coordinator, and the Congregational Care Team of Deacons) has been working to establish a space where resources will be available for FPC members to take and share with others we notice who could use an extra measure of God’s grace, love, and encouragement.
The Memorial Room, the small room located near the Welcome sign, has been redesigned to be a more prayerful space and a space where resources will be available for you to take and give away. The Giving Room, as we call it, has books, devotionals, caring bears, worry stones, and so much more. Peaceworks, our sewing ministry, has made small blankets for the caring bears and fidget blankets for dementia patients. The card ministry will move from the library to this area. There are notebooks full of resources that can be found in our library and services available around Sioux Falls. There is something available for all ages.
The purpose of The Giving Room is to help our church enter the world of someone who could use some compassion. Please visit The Giving Room with those attending services or bring children by so they can see things they can give someone who is lonely or sad or just needs a friend. The room is being provided to serve the community. Thank you for being the compassionate people God calls us to be.