Deborah Armstrong

Something for Sunday

Deborah's Diary

I’ve been asked to tell my story in five minutes or less. If the story were about my actual book, I would have no problem telling you about it. Hopefully, by the end of the five minutes you’d want to read the story to find out who I actually wrote about in the book. Would you find yourself depicted in their story or at the very least, would you see your name in print? Don’t worry, there’s always Part Two if you don’t find yourself in Part One. Maybe if you ask me nicely, I’ll write your name in a sentence or two.

But the story I’ve been asked to tell is the story about me. It’s more personal and definitely harder to talk about. It’s my story as it pertains to me and the giving of my talents, my time and my money to the church. Those who really know me, know that I am a newbie to the faith community. Maybe they don’t see me that way, but it’s how I see myself. I haven’t spent my whole life involved with a church or even religion. I’m not as confident in having faith or in the power of prayer.

Maybe I am not as much of a newbie as I think. I get the gist of most of the Bible stories I hear on Sunday mornings. I know that the teachings of Jesus are common sense and that no matter what our faith is, we should be living our lives by being kind and loving, giving of ourselves to friends and strangers, and being the best possible version of ourselves that we can be without pretense. We can all talk the talk, it’s the walking the walk that is the challenge. I guess that’s why I wear low heels.

My mother was raised Anglican. My father was an atheist, although he believed in reincarnation and could sing all the old hymns from memory. My father was well read in religion. He could discuss most faiths and always enjoyed having Philip over for religious debates. My father always asked Philip to say Grace at the table. We never said Grace when I was growing up, but my father was always respectful of Philip’s beliefs so we said Grace. I know it wouldn’t have mattered to Philip if we’d said Grace, but in return, out of respect for my dad, he would offer thanks before the meal.

And so, this brings me to why I am a part of Mayfield Church. Out of respect for Philip and and his family, I started attending church after we were married. I remember that we started off right away giving regularly to both the Local fund and the Mission and Service fund. It was ingrained in Philip. His parents were stellar role models for giving of one’s talents. Anyway, Philip was involved with Stewards and Sunday School and I eventually felt the call to become involved.. My talents were not in teaching Sunday School or in serving on the various other committees. My talent, I thought, was with money so I volunteered to be the Treasurer a very long time ago.

I look after paying the bills so that we have heat and hydro for our Sunday morning service. I make sure that our minister, our choir director, and our church secretary  are paid so that we are blessed with their talents every day of the week. I look after keeping the church finances up to date so that you know if you need to give more of your talents. One of my talents is to know your envelope number but to not remember your donation balance, unless you give the same amount 52 times a year and then I could easily do the math and let you know. Otherwise, I’d have to look it up. I’m not that talented.

I’m also a member of the Ministry of Mission and Outreach and the choir. I enjoy being a part of Mission and Outreach because it gives me the chance to give outside of the church. I do support many other charities. I can write the cheque. That’s the easy part. It’s the giving of my time that I look forward to;. bringing guest speakers to our church to tell us about what’s going on outside our doors, telling us that there is a definite need for our talents whether it’s money or our hands.

I love being a member of the choir. I love sharing the gift of music. I love the four part harmonies. Sometimes it’s five or six part when we don’t always hit the right notes, but that’s okay. It’s like the sharing of our talents – whether we sing soprano, alto, tenor , bass or somewhere in between we sound amazing. And whether it’s the sharing of our time, or money or our particular talent, together as the congregation of Mayfield United Church we are amazing.

So, that’s my story about my talents. We all have talents. Today’s reading deals with the use of our talents. How do you plan to use yours?

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