There’s a often told story about a beach that was covered with dying starfish that had been swept ashore by a storm. One person was walking along and spotted another person who seemed busy at a task among the creatures filling the beach. As the walker got closer they saw that the other person was lifting up a starfish and throwing it as hard as they could back into the surf, and then bending over, selecting another one and throwing again.
Looking at the hundreds — thousands? — of fish littering the beach the walker shook their head and shouted, “Why are you doing that? You’ll never save them all! What you’re doing won’t matter!”
And the star thrower bent down, lifted another starfish and flung it back into the oncoming wave.
“It’ll matter to that one,” they said.
Without even knowing it, you helped to do that a few weeks ago. The Ministerial Discretionary Fund (MDF) helped to send a 17 year old girl back to her home in Texas. She’d arrived here with a boyfriend a few months ago, and the relationship had fallen apart. He had become violent and threw her out of the apartment they shared. Local shelters were full. Through a member of the congregation who lived next door, she wound at church and we got her on a flight home that night.
The MDF is funded in a small part from our budget, and each year the Christmas Eve offering is designated for the fund. In addition to the occasional big expense aid to people in need like that 17 year old, the fund provides Safeway cards for the people who come to our door looking for help, it’s offers a bit of assistance to members and friends of the congregation who are in need, and allows me to donate to support quick response social justice projects.
There is always an opportunity to donate to this fund, but in this holiday season, I invite you to contribute to this special fund to allow us to do the saving work that we do in so many ways. You can contribute by designating a contribution in Sunday’s collection (memo line on a check or putting it in an envelope), donating online on our website, or contributing at our Christmas Eve service on Monday.
Each donation, no matter how small, is part of the healing and saving work that we do together. Thank you all for being a part of this congregation that makes it possible.
See you in church!