How have you seen gifts manifest in your community and church during the pandemic and social distancing?
It has been so inspiring to me to watch the ways that different members of my home-church have offered their gifts in ways that they never have before. We are in our third week of United Methodist Churches being closed in my state. The first two weeks seemed a bit disorienting, but this week I have seen the gifts of members being offered and received in several ways. I have also seen people invited to give their gifts, because we spent time as a congregation last year naming and inventorying our gifts (Gifts of the Head, Hand and Heart). It’s good to know what you’ve got to work with, especially in a time of uncertainty!
I am hopeful that you have recently witnessed gifts given and received in surprising ways in your community. If you have, please share an example on the TCOP Facebook page. Maybe it is a gift that you offered!
In my church, a man named Sam, can take care of just about any house project that comes along. As an adhoc team of us were calling each member last week to check on them, we learned that one of our elder members who lives alone, Elaine, had a leak in her roof. Our pastor called Sam and invited him to give his gift of “handyman” to Elaine. Sam not only has this gift of the hand; he also has the gift of the heart (passion) for the elders of our church and community.
Bruce Anderson of the Core Gift Institute wrote a wonderful blog today about gifts. He suggests that while it might seem counterintuitive as we focus on what is right in front of us, “gifts are what is most needed in the world right now.”
"It’s only our uncertainty and fears of the unfamiliar that cause us to hold back [our gifts]. In these moments, each of us is being asked a fundamental question: “What is being asked of my gifts right now?”
Transformational Communities of Praxis begins with this assumption: every person has gifts, talents, knowledge and dreams to contribute.
In these challenging times, how have you seen gifts manifest in your church and community?
Note: This article was reprinted from April 1, 2020 and the Transformational Communities of Praxis (TCOP) website. TCOP is an initiative of the Rio Texas Conference of the UMC. Amy Moritz has been a consultant to the team since 2017 providing program design, evaluation, training and coaching.