At Nameoki UMC (Granite City), we have started a new giving campaign that will help us to undertake some major renovations at the church. As part of this process, we have been learning about how it is we ‘bear fruit’ for the Kingdom of God, and how we are called to be generous givers. On Sunday September 25th, the church put ‘generous giving’ into action. Pastor Mike Rayson and Tom Nance – a lay member of Nameoki UMC, and a regional supervisor for Domino’s Pizza – set up a ‘generous giving’ challenge for the church. At 11.10am this past Sunday morning, a pizza delivery driver, unaware she had been selected by her supervisor, arrived at Nameoki UMC during the second morning service. Fortuitously, she arrived during a moment of testimony from the Assistant Lay Leader about the importance of being generous givers. She was escorted to the front of the church with the pizza, and then we passed baskets around the church to collect her ‘tip’. Cheryl – an older lady who delivered the pizza – told us that her life had not been an easy one, and that she was overwhelmed that someone would do something like this for her. The church collected hundreds and hundreds of dollars as a tip for Cheryl – and we emptied the contents of the giving baskets directly into the bag that had formerly contained a very delicious thin crust pepperoni pizza. The church then bowed in prayer together to give thanks for Cheryl, and to pray for God’s blessing upon her and her family. The congregation or the pastor had never met Cheryl before… and Cheryl did not know anyone in the congregation. All the congregation knew prior to this taking place was that there would be a special offering during the service, and to come prepared. Blessing Cheryl mirrors the love God has for each of us – unreserved and without condition.
The Rev’d Michael D. Rayson
Senior Pastor – Nameoki United Methodist Church
1900 Pontoon Rd, Granite City, IL – 62040 (USA)
Assistant Lay Pastor (Congregational Care and Worship): Marian McCray
Youth Lay Pastor: Myna Hedden
Office Manager: Linda Brinkmeyer
Office Hours: 9am-2pm, Mon-Fri