This Little Light of Mine

Thank you for so warmly welcoming me to Grace over these past few weeks! I feel truly blessed to be here and am glad to have had the opportunity to meet many of you. Thank you, too, for your patience with me as I work on learning all your names. (I really appreciate how often you wear name tags here!)

As you might have read in my biography on Grace’s website, before I became involved in church ministry, I was a social worker, primarily in the mental health field. I encountered many people who were feeling alone, scared, hopeless and unlovable for a variety of reasons. Because I worked at a public agency, faith was only cursorily mentioned, and this often felt to me like a big piece was missing.

One of the things that drew me to join the ELCA as an adult was the emphasis on accompanying and serving others. I love the ELCA tagline - “God’s work. Our hands.” Serving on staff at an ELCA congregation has felt like the missing piece has been found and put into place.

It’s been exciting to see all the ministry taking place at and through Grace. In my short time here, I’ve enjoyed participating in worship services, educational offerings, food and fellowship opportunities, staff and ministry meetings, and eucharist visits with Pastor Christina. I know that I’ve only seen a small portion of what takes place here, and I’m looking forward to seeing and learning more. Underneath all this ministry are relationships. It’s been a joy to see the love that you have for God, for each other, and for neighbors outside of Grace.

As I look back on my first few weeks at Grace, one of the highlights that stands out was leading chapel time with the preschool children. After I read a book to them, we prepared to sing “This Little Light of Mine.” I told the children that God loves each one of us and that God’s love is like a little light that shines inside us. One boy suddenly leaned forward and shouted, “God loves me!!??” I wasn’t sure if he was exclaiming or questioning this. Perhaps it was a little of both. I reiterated that yes, God loves him, that God loves all of us, and he quietly sat back in his pew.

I think I was so touched by this boy’s response because I could relate to it. I know God loves me, and hopefully all of you know that, too. But when I take the time to really think about that, I can sometimes be filled with joy and wonder, and other times I can find myself thinking, “Really? How can God love me?” I’m grateful to be part of the Grace community, where I might help others remember that God loves them, no matter what, and where I might be reminded of that, too.

Peace and joy,

Kimberly Dunbar

Interim Ministry Associate

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