Oh, if you could have seen the looks on your faces!

It’s not often that the pastor starts talking about handing out money, especially cold hard cash at the door. So when I said in Sunday’s sermon that each family unit in the room would receive a $50 bill when they left from worship with which to “go and live neighborly,” the looks of incredulity were everywhere!

The responses that Amy, David, and I heard from you at the door were great. There was some joking (“I’m going to go out two different doors, and get $100 so I can have a steak dinner!”), some stress (“Man, this is a lot of responsibility you’re asking of us!”), some creativity (“I already know what I’m going to do with it! I have a zillion more ideas too!”), and some snark (“Well that will teach people not to skip worship!”).

We even got a beautiful response from a TV viewer who said this:

We often watch your Sunday worship services when we are unable to attend our church. We really enjoy them. Thank you for providing this ministry. … Today you convinced my husband to go back to church, and we are going to take $50 and do something neighborly with it. What a great challenge! Again, thank you for reaching out to those of us at home. Love in Christ, Caroline

Since then, I’ve heard ideas simmering all around our beloved community. A group of men are wondering about pooling their money together to provide a big meal for a downtown apartment complex. One of our members who is an Uber driver has wondered about how he can be neighborly while shuttling people from one destination to another. Still another might take that picnic table idea to heart! People are thinking intentionally about how to be neighborly, simply within in their regular rhythms of life, but in a way that builds relationships.

Regardless of how the money will be spent between now and the end of August, I am most excited to hear stories of the experiences! Don’t forget to write up a brief description of how you spent that money and what you learned, and throw in a picture or two if you’d like! Email them to neighbors@firstonfifth.org, and we’ll be sharing them together.

May God take these ordinary dollars and transform them into extraordinary love!

Together in the work of Love,

Pastor Emily

P. S. If you missed Sunday and want to hear more about this initiative, I encourage you to watch the worship service or read the sermon to hear more! You can do so by clicking here.

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