Special Message from Pastor Bob
Dear people of God:
One of the things I’ve enjoyed during the pandemic has been weekly Rotary meetings via Zoom. I was resistant to online conferencing (experiences I had in early years had not been good), but I have really taken to it.
Well, to the point. Every week we’ve had a speaker present via Zoom conferencing, and we’ve had some time to visit with and check in with each other. One week recently our speaker was Brenda Banks, the founder and director of Cross Training Center (crosstc.com). The Center offers a variety of services, all supporting their central mission of vocational training and work experience for persons who have a difficult time getting work for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons may be incarceration, homelessness, or emotional disorders, for example.
Brenda was called to this work as an outgrowth of her Christian faith. I got the impression of a woman who saw her discipleship to Jesus Christ as not simply belonging to a church and enjoying the benefits of participation in a family of faith, but also as a calling to a changed life and to change other lives. That’s the principal meaning behind the “Cross” in their name, although she also enjoys the play-on-words of “cross training.”
When asked about how she started it, how she kept going, how she developed the funding, and the like: that’s when she told us about her faith commitment. And she said something memorable; she said, “It’s been difficult, but every life we’ve changed has been worth it.”
How many activities there are that can lead you to say that! Crossroads Connection, Habitat for Humanity, Benson Area Refugee Task Force… working as a teacher, a health-care professional, a parent, a pastor… volunteering as a mentor, a Big Brother/Sister, a coach… It is so easy to begin to question one’s value to the world, even when you’ve been taught (as we have) that our value is implicit, that we are valued because we are created in the image of God, we are loved by God, and we are redeemed by Jesus Christ. If you need something more, then take a moment to ask yourself if you have made a positive impact on anybody.
Most of us have not done anything so dramatic or powerful as Brenda Banks, but I daresay every one of us can find a way to say, “It’s been difficult, but every life we’ve changed has been worth it.”
During the COVID-19 restrictions, I am posting special messages from time to time. This one is from May 15, 2020.