The Council continues their Appreciative Inquiry conversation by exploring the following questions: When was Pine Shores the biggest blessing in your life? What uniqueness would you like Pine Shores to carry forward over the next 5 years? Or, if Jesus came and visited Pine Shores in 5 years, what would he be most pleased about?  One of the elders shared that Pine Shores has been a blessing for her entire life and realized that the church was a family she could always turn to and count on. Upon her return to Pine Shores in her adult years, it has provided many things including a social aspect and a refuge. The church also became a family for her kids and she knows they will appreciate it for that fact in the future. She believes Jesus would like that Pine Shores is welcoming and generous not only to our own, but also to those who may differ from us. We are generous with our money, time and people resources and open to differing views. She feels we make good attempts to reach out and share using our current resources and we should continue in that manner. A second elder shared that while he can’t pinpoint specific examples of how Pine Shores has been a blessing. (He has been a member for a short time – 4 years but has enjoyed a longer relationship with the church through friends). He feels that Jesus would be most pleased with how the church is run, that our Pastors work well and in a cooperative manner in different situations, our Youth Program is making a difference in many lives and that Jesus would feel we are doing a good job. A third elder feels that the biggest blessing to her from Pine Shores is that she always known the church and its people we were here and able to listen and support her. She appreciated being asked to join the church at the right time and shared how blessed she felt during the time when her dad was in hospice and had a visit from a member (Trudy Cooke Hall.)  The church has made an impact and is family to her. Jesus would be most pleased with the sense of family, community, friendship and mission work that we do and that we are continuing things that were started before she became involved.
We invite those have not yet pondered these questions including those of you who belong to another community to do so. These are more than interesting question. They’re important ones.  Just replace Pine Shores by inserting the name of your church or community, and let the pondering occur.

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.”

Reflection Questions:
Who encourages you?
By what Pine Shores is currently doing, how are we building each other up?
Why does generosity matter?

Prayer: Holy God, let my presence be helpful to others and encourage my spirit to strive for a greater depth of caring.  Amen.