“Do you have fruit?” Pastor Kyle Toomire asked. “Does our church have fruit? Do we matter in our community?” These are questions that he asked in a sermon that he gave on the last Sunday before he shut down the Journey United Methodist church in Buda/Kyle Texas for a Sunday of not “just going to church but coming and being the church.” This was a chance for the congregation to act out its faith.
According to Pastor Kyle, fruit is generated by God in a Christian and a congregation that follows the example of Jesus. He says that it is because of a person’s faith that he or she has works. Faith without works is dead. Works without faith is dead. The two must intertwine to perform the will of God.
On Sunday, November 13, 2011, the church members went into the community to help where they could; to make a difference in the lives of community members.
The actual action began the day before when some of the members helped members of the First United Methodist Church in Kyle, Texas to build ramps for someone in a wheelchair.
Then, on Sunday, the participants gathered at the Journey, which meets at The Painted Horse Pavilion building and had a quick, tasty breakfast before breaking into groups to go out into the community for service.
Rachel Toomire led the children in worship through bouncing in a bouncy house and making manna bags to make a difference in the lives of the homeless. Then she led these youngest Journey Partners in prayer over these bags.
Trish Cramer led a group of members going door-to-door in the community collecting food donations for the Hays/Caldwell women’s shelter.
One women’s hedges were trimmed by a group. A HEB gift card was donated to someone needing groceries.
|Church Partners enjoy organizing clothes for the clothes closet at Chapa Middle School|
|Dedicated group after working hard.|
One group began with ten people and ended with over twenty. That group worked on the yard of a lady who had been unable to tend to her yard for months. They had a lot to do, and got it done in a big way.
|Children worked hard to beautify garden.|
Debbie Sparks said that her favorite part of the installation of 2 gardens for a cancer patient who had recently moved into a new home was watching the children digging and planting in a garden.
|Prayer is the best way to start any job.|
One group cleaned windows, worked on baseboards, replaced siding and painted the front porch of a family.
All of these projects were discussed at the next Sunday service. After the slide show, Pastor Kyle reminded his congregation that the work was not over. “God is still calling us to be the church all year long.” He said that later in the same week, he received an email from a member of the Missions Team that started, “ I know we just finished doing our local mission project, but could we……”
Before the celebration lunch, Pastor Kyle shared with his congregation that Billy Graham said that the association between faith and works is like this: “faith is taking the gospel in and works is taking the gospel out.” The two go together.
Services for the Journey UMC are held every Sunday at The Painted Horse Pavilion on FM 1626 in Buda, Texas at 10:30 am.
copyright 2011 by Kathy Robbins