~ Photo above by Terry Cole

Each week in worship, during the Invitation to Giving, someone from our church tells their story. Our Vice Moderator Amy Kilburn told hers during the service on Jan. 21, 2018: 

Many of you know me as the person who does the Life of the Church announcements, or as your Vice Moderator, maybe that I’m Art Drolette’s granddaughter, or even know that my name is Amy, I teach middle school and work as a teacher advocate.  

In the past, I’ve spoken about what has brought me to this church, but when I heard Chris was going to resign, I thought why do I continue to come to church and give?  Why, through the fog of life, would I wake up early and come in on a Sunday?  Why would I attend church meetings during the week?  Why would my participation matter?    

You see, this was my week last week: One of my students who was in the Student Responsibility Center (that’s a nice way of saying the place where you get busted) all year last year, who has not been there one time this year, and has truly tried to be an academic this year was expelled. He had inappropriate pictures on his phone and shared them with others.

Another student, whose only safe place is school because her family verbally beats her down daily — Why? Because she wants to do well in school — was expelled for distribution of a controlled substance on campus. Top that with working with a teacher who was put on paid administrative leave.  

This was not an unusual week for me.  This is the fog of life that could hide the joys that are screaming for attention.  For me, this church represents hopeful, remarkable possibilities.  

Let me tell you what I mean. When I come to service I can predict that at some point a box of fruit will probably show up with a simple, un-Pinterest sign, reading, “Please take.”  

This activity of harvesting fruit from a nurtured tree is a sign of possibilities…like will this dang thing grow?  Will the fruit be any good?  What do I do with all this fruit!?  Possibilities!  

Then watching as congregants take the fruit, what’s possible?  With Rod it’s pies!  Lemon pies!!  Who would’ve known that a delicious pie would’ve come from this possibility….Rod!?

This isn’t a miracle, but it is those simple remarkable moments that bring me back each week.  As we fight through the fog of life it’s wonderful to come to a place each week where we are reminded that sharing, kindness is possible.   

I also come for hope.  For this, I direct you to the faucet found east of the Peace Garden. Some might not know the story behind that faucet. Let me tell you, I was in one of those nighttime church meetings where we discussed our water bill.  It was extremely large because some homeless folk had broken a water pipe to gain access to water during the heat wave last summer.  

Imagine, just imagine, being so desperate that you needed to break a water pipe for WATER. Economic reality is we can’t afford a broken pipe. The discussion during that meeting included the job of clean up after the homeless.  Not a fun job.  

We left that meeting with no viable solution, but with a covenant to treat all as welcome and human. The next thing I see is the pipe split with a water faucet and a hose spigot. I was left feeling grateful for all involved in a simple faucet and thankful for the concept of hope.  

So, I continue to come to this church, give of my time, talents, and finances, because, for me, it represents hopeful, remarkable possibilities. You might think these things not remarkable, but when I think of the fog of life, they are remarkable.

A faucet, a piece of fruit, as simple as they may be to others, seem hopefully remarkable to me. And maybe, just maybe, our little spot permeates the people who walk through our doors, for hours, days, or years, and they go out into the world and share that hope is possible.