An invitation to hospitality
Sometimes, when we’re not even expecting it, our giving becomes a witness to others. Mary McCurty, of Colesville UMC had this experience recently when she watched her pastor, the Rev. Callie Matthews, stand in the pulpit and invite the congregation to dinner.
She didn’t even ask us – all 200 of us – to sign up. All we had to do was bring a can of food for the church’s Hungry Neighbor program. She even invited us to bring a guest if we wanted.
“Yikes!” McCurty said. How would her pastor know how much to prepare, or find the money for the food, paper goods and decorations for the fellowship hall? There wasn’t even a donation basket. “I’ve been going to this church for more than 50 years and never heard a pastor invite a congregation to a meal she or he was preparing and serving free.”
Reflecting on Matthew’s generous giving, McCurty decided that “Pastor Callie is often an exception to what I expect and what I have experienced in church. She speaks unceasingly of the power of faith and encourages us to embrace stewardship as abundance instead of scarcity and generosity instead of parsimony, to have vision beyond what we can see, touch, hear and feel.”
Seeing such generosity in action has led McCurty to embrace a deeper spirit of radical hospitality. “Pastor Callie is a shepherd, guiding us by her example of love and care,” McCurty said. “During the delicious buffet dinner, she and her husband added multiple tables to the room that gave me the impression food was multiplying in the kitchen, similar to Jesus serving the loaves and fishes.”
It’s a spirit of generous giving and multiplication the entire congregation of Colesville seems to be adopting, McCurty reported. “We are a Community of Faith in Action.”