Wednesday, May 8

Cultivating Caring Community: Joys & Sorrows

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4)

Listen to Rhoda James’ experience of both organized and organic care at LifeSpring: Matt and I attended LifeSpring as newlyweds many years ago.  We loved coming here and loved Pastor Scott's messages. Even though we were significantly younger than most of the congregation, we were always greeted warmly and genuinely each time we came. I'll always remember that.  As time went on, we longed for connections with other couples our age to relate to, so we went elsewhere for awhile.

Several years later, we found ourselves dealing with many difficult circumstances: Job layoffs, health concerns, surgeries, special needs child and all the challenges that go with that.  Even though we were regular attendees at a large established church, it was LifeSpring who came along side us, standing in the gap during some very trying times. We received Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts that came at just the right time. When we were discouraged, LifeSpring was who helped restore our hope.

We eventually started coming to various events at LifeSpring. We noticed that some things hadn't changed- we were quickly welcomed again just as warmly and genuinely as we had been years ago. We also noticed that some things HAD changed. There were now many young families and other people our age!  By then we had 3 kids, and they loved coming to Sunday school and the nursery.

We've been back at LifeSpring for about 8 years and the people here continue to bless our family and walk with us though many joys and sorrows, restoring our faith in community and modeling for us how to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Action: What has been your LifeSpring experience in regards to cultivating caring community? Take time to write out and reflect on your own story of restoration in this area. (Feel free to share your story with Pastor Scott or myself—stories will only be shared publicly with permission)

Elyse Aguirre