A fruitful life

Charles is beginning a new sermon series this week called The Fruitful Life. One of the things he is going to be talking about is the importance of growing up in good soil. For plants to grow and produce good fruit it is important for them to have good soil. The same is true for us as Christians. We are called to be fruitful which means we are influencing others by our actions and helping to create new disciples. But in order to be fruitful we need to be surrounded by those who encourage and support us. That is one of the main purposes of church. It’s a community of believers where we can grow in our own faith which encourages and supports us while we go out into the world to live as Jesus taught us to.

Our children’s and youth ministries are good examples of this. Those ministries provide a good foundation for young people to learn more about themselves, grow in their faith, and be surrounded by adults who love and care for them. Children’s and youth ministry is the good soil which helps our young people to grow.

I was recently talking to Hope Carneal who graduated last year from Caroline High School and now attends VCU. Hope grew up at Wright’s Chapel and was very involved in our youth ministry. I texted her and asked her what she would say was the impact on her life has been by being involved in our youth ministry. Her first response was oh jeez! But then she started reflecting on her time with us. She mentioned making friends and the church being helpful to her and her family. Hope talked about the small groups and Bible studies she was involved with that helped her understand the Bible and her faith better. Then she listed adults in the church who were there for her. She said this about the adults that worked with her in youth ministry “it’s allowed me to have a support system that some people don’t have the opportunity to have and I know that they’re there for any problem I have and help me understand God better by trying to live my life like they do.” That is exactly the ground we are hoping to cultivate for the young people in our community. Hope is taking a support system and a stronger faith with her to college because of the time she spent at Wright’s Chapel.

Hope and Faith Carneal, Jordan Mines and Shawn working at a food bank in Charlotte, NC

Thank you for all of those who volunteer with our children and youth. You are making a difference. But also thank you to all who make financial donations to the church. We would not be able to do what we did for Hope with out the money that gets donated to the church on a weekly basis. Many times we feel funny talking about money in the church. It’s true we don’t want to make it all about money. But it’s also true that we cannot do what we do with out money. So thank you for those donations!

This year’s giving has been down compared to last year. We are hoping to finish the year strong to help us get caught up. If you would like to give online you can click here and give a one time amount or give a recurring monthly amount. The church is making a difference in so many lives. On behalf of Hope and many others thank you for the part you play in that!