Q. Do you remember the "each one bring one" campaign to invite someone to church and into a relationship with Jesus Christ?
A. Let me tell you a story. Jane is one person who signed the "each one bring one" pledge back in May. She had someone in mind that she wanted to invite. Friends of hers, the Senigaglia's, had taken in a young woman by the name of Shayla, that their son had been dating. The young couple broke up, but his parents didn't want to give up on this girl who had been bounced around in foster care all of her life. She was also pregnant (but not with their son's child). During her stay there, Shayla got her G.E.D. and a job working as a pet groomer to support her now two-year-old daughter. This is the struggling young mother that Jane wanted to invite to church.
Then tragedy struck. In June, Shayla was riding her bike to work along Lincoln Avenue. Two trucks collided and one of the trucks turned over and pinned Shayla who was passing by on her bicycle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
When I recently contacted those who signed the "each one bring one" pledge to remind them of upcoming events and opportunities for invitation, I got this back from Jane: "Rebecca, this may sound like a 'cop out,' but the person I was going to invite to church was the young woman who was killed in the bicycle accident. It’s left me feeling uncertain about inviting anyone. I’ll keep looking, but my heart really isn’t in it."
Last week, I got a message from Jane notifying me that a homeless man had introduced himself to their early morning Bible study group at Le Boulanger. The women told him about the men's class that meets in the Wesley Room on Thursday mornings and invited him to come. Sure enough, Timothy came to the men's gathering that morning. He also came to our rummage sale and to worship that weekend.
So, even though Jane didn't have the heart to "bring one," she did anyway. She brought Timothy. Goes to show you that God will work through you even when you don't feel like you have it in you. Half a heart is more than enough when the grace of God is with you.
Thank you to Jane for letting me share her story. I hope that more of you will tell me about your welcoming adventures in the weeks to come.