The most common conversation I probably have is with the post office box: “What will you contain today?” Some days it is empty, but many days it contains notes of encouragement, gifts from donors, or perhaps some random piece of mail. I am always blessed by the encouragement notes and by those who faithfully give each month. They are reminders of God’s faithfulness financially and relationally. The random bits of mail also offer occasional comic relief.
Thankfully, conversations about partnership in the ministry of Mid-Valley Fellowship are not confined to the mailbox. In the last couple months, we have been preparing for our annual benefit dinner in October. Part of that process is enlisting leadership donors who will underwrite the cost of the evening and invite their friends to the dinner. Their partnership will enable us to share our ministry purpose and vision with many new potential partners all at once. I have been blessed to see that process unfold as people generously contribute to the future of MVF. The evening will be an exciting event, and there are still some great opportunities to be a leadership donor. Contact us to learn how.
There are many ways to partner in the ministry of Mid-Valley Fellowship. A couple recent conversations with local pastors caused me to think more about this. They shared their support for MVF and, at the same time, uncertainty about how to partner with us in ministry. In the next few months, we plan to share some very tangible ways you can partner with us in communicating a message of hope to those impacted by homosexuality.
In addition to conversations about partnership, I also have the opportunity to offer support to local pastors facing difficult situations in their church or ministry group. Such was the case with a recent conversation. A ministry leader was working very hard to resolve a situation in a healthy and helpful way but was hitting a wall. We met and discussed the situation in detail, and I gave some outside perspective and advice. After chatting for a couple hours, the ministry leader felt more equipped for the situation, and we left the conversation open for further dialogue.
I also occasionally have the privilege of a coffee or lunch with a youth pastor. It seems that many high school students are faced with how to interact with peers who have identified themselves as gay, in addition to potentially experiencing their own questions or confusion about sexuality. Conversations with youth pastors are usually a very open, honest interchange, focused on the challenges their students face and how MVF can come alongside in partnership with the youth pastor. That support can take the form of speaking with their group and offering training to staff, among other things.
Communication is a priority for us, so we value opportunities to share in differing contexts from leadership teams and small groups to church services or other large group gatherings. Through various avenues, we are able to facilitate a conversation that challenges common perspectives and shares a message of redemption for those impacted by homosexuality or any other issue. Recently, I visited a church and taught our 3-part series (Homosexuality 101) in a Sunday School class. It provides the framework for an interactive conversation that can ultimately take the group into whatever is on their minds as it relates to homosexuality. My most recent visit was no exception with great interaction from the group in attendance. As we journeyed together, a conversation began that will hopefully continue in the future. It was also a blessing for me to see another part of the Body of Christ, outside the context of my local church.
We have some great volunteers that make the ministry of Mid-Valley Fellowship possible. While our Taking Back Ground volunteers are taking a much-needed break for the summer, our board members continue to serve. In addition to regular meetings, some have taken on special projects, and we get to interact about those. They have also brought additional perspective on things we do as a ministry. One focus they have at the moment is developing partnerships. In addition to working on the benefit dinner, they are brainstorming effective ways to increase awareness of MVF in the Christian community.
On a personal level, I enjoy interacting with pastors and ministry leaders, who are my peers in the area. Being able to chat with people who can relate with some of the things I experience is helpful for me. Many of them have been or are in similar situations to those I face. This is another blessing from God.
Have I had a conversation with you? I would love to get to know you, share with you more about the ministry of Mid-Valley Fellowship, and let you know how you can be a part. Give me a call or drop me an e-mail. I would enjoy hearing from you.
originally published August 2008