A Day in the Life of a Minister by Pam Durso (Friday, November 30)

Today is my birthday!

So today, on November 30, I will celebrate.

Today I celebrate the gift that is my family. Parents and three sisters, aunts and nieces, brother-in-laws and nephews, and cousins and a grandmother–I am blessed to have a family to love and to be loved by. I also celebrate the family I have created with Keith and our children, Michael and Alex (Alex always complains that she is listed last, but it is about birth order, kiddo, not importance or affection)!  They are my heart, my joy.

Today I celebrate the gift that is friendship. I have been blessed beyond words with good friends. I have friends who share their lives, their laughter, their struggles, and who walk with me in this journey of life. Friendship has become more and more important to me, and I have learned the value of finding and holding on to good friends!

Today I celebrate the gift that is my job! I always say I have the best job in the world–and a truer statement has never been made! I love what I do. I love the women and men I meet. I love having coffee with students. I love talking on the phone with pastors. I love answering reference calls about ministers-in-search-of-a-position. I love listening to stories, even the heartbreaking ones. I love planning and organizing and thinking of new ways to advocate for women ministers. I love watching what all God is doing in the midst of us!

Today I celebrate the gift that is faith. Some days my faith is in short supply. My questions outnumber my answers. But having now reached the ripe old age of fifty-one, I can look back at my life and see where God has in the past loved me unconditionally and welcomed me into relationship. On my hardest of days, I find comfort and hope from memories of God’s care, and I put my hope in God’s continuing faithfulness. Today I am grateful for a life-long and growing faith.

Today I have much to celebrate! And I am grateful for family and friends, for meaningful work and for faith that sustains! Thanks be to God!

Pam Durso is executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry, Atlanta, Georgia. 

 

A Day in the Life of a Minister by Deborah Gilbreath (Friday, November 30)

Today started at 1:30 a.m. as usual. I love to get up in the wee hours of the morning and read my devotionals and Bible, pray over those on my prayer lists, and pray over the scriptural promises that I have selected to take to my heart as my very own. I get such strength and spiritual power from these times of prayer and meditation, and they keep me fresh and focused on God’s will for my life.

After going back to bed for a few more hours of blessed sleep, I got myself and my mother ready for church. I love my church: Mimosa Lane Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas. We are small enough for that friendly feeling, and yet large enough to have mission trips to India and the Philippines. The church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and does not currently ordain women ministers. But I have met with the deacons in order to be commissioned by the church, because I am a chaplain at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

The worship service ended by 11:00 a.m., and off we went to our Sunday School class, which we call the Agape group. Agape is for the elder adults, but they allowed me to join, because I attend to my mother. They also elected me to be the president this year. Last year I was the treasurer. Having those roles has been such an honor, coming from my elders. Today we discussed distributing Thanksgiving dinners to the poor in our city and buying Christmas gifts for a Salvation Army Angel Tree Child. The group also supports the Texas Baptist Men every year.

By 2:00 p.m., I arrive at Parkland and page the chaplain on call. He comes and gives me my list of patients to visit. I ride the elevators up to the floor where my patients are, and I wind my way down and around the long halls and finally arrive on the ward. I notified the charge nurse that I will be visiting patients on the floor, but I do not tell her that it is my first time. I was a critical care nurse for thirteen years, so I did not expect any problems on this my first day as a hospital chaplain. But when I arrived on the floor, I found out that half of my patients speak only Spanish! And I don’t speak Spanish. So I repeated “Dios te bendiga” (God bless you) and “Rezo por ti” (I will pray for you).  Those phrases were the extent of our communications, but the patients mostly seemed pleased. We have translator telephones at the hospital that I can use, but I did not have the code this my first day on the ward. I spend my afternoon visiting patients, who are critically ill, have had surgery, or suffered injuries. One is dying of AIDS.

Before I go back next week, I will use the English to Spanish translator at http://spanishdict.com to translate a few pastoral phrases and prayers. There is much to learn. But it was a fantastic day.

Deborah Gilbreath is a chaplain at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

A Day in the Life of a Minister by Anita Thompson (Thursday, November 29)

Today I made cookies and colored cards with children.

One of the things I really love about my community of faith, First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, North Carolina, is their ecumenical spirit. We partner with area churches in a variety of ministries which include benevolence, Vacation Bible School, food pantry, backpack buddies, and Operation Inasmuch—with which I began this day.

At 7:30 a.m., with habitual diet coke in hand, I helped welcome brothers and sisters into our fellowship hall for the beginning breakfast and devotion. There were folks from a wonderful variety of congregations: non-denominational, Native American/African-American, mainline, and African-American congregations. Ages spanned from three to ninety-something, a lovely patchwork of people with one goal in mind; to serve others in the name of Christ.

Like most Operation Inasmuch days, ours included a children’s project. I had the privilege of serving as its leader. Our project was two-fold. We were going to bake cookies and color cards of thanks for our local fire fighters and police officers. And we were going to put together the ingredients for bean soup, layered in clear gift bags with attached card (also colored by the children) containing cooking directions. I had bought enough ingredients to make about twenty bags.

I loved watching the children delight in all the ingredients of the soup recipe. There were black beans and green beans, white beans and red beans which were oh so fun to pour into large bowls. There was dried mustard which prompted a “Yuck!”  There was dried onion which caused another child to wrinkle up his face in disgust. “It takes all this to make soup?” one child asked. “All these ingredients go together to make the soup taste good,” I replied. Another child asked, “What are we going to do with it when we’re done?” Ah, just the question I was hoping someone would ask. “We’re going to take them to the Food Pantry. Do you know what the Food Pantry is?” And thus began a wonderful discussion about the hungry in our community.

On to the cookie baking and card coloring. I was pleasantly surprised when not one cookie was swiped and eaten!  Every single one ended up in a gift bag. And the cards were adorable. The black and white drawings of a fireman, a fire dog (Dalmatian, of course), and a policeman bloomed with color. As we delivered the gifts I enjoyed watching the recipients get a kick out of the pictures of orange fire dogs, green policemen, and purple firemen. And as they held the still warm cookies in their hands, they offered a heartfelt thank you to the children. Mission accomplished!

It was a great morning spent with a terrific bunch of children helping to feed the hungry and offer thanks to those who help keep us safe. The afternoon was a completely different scenario.

By 2 p.m. that day I was robed and ready to help officiate the memorial service for one of our long-time senior adult members who had suffered under the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease. He was ready to go, and his family was ready to let him go.

“Mr. Smith” was a member of “The Greatest Generation,” a generation that is, sadly, fast approaching its end. Lately, as I’ve helped celebrate the life of many of these generational giants I have sorely grieved their loss. What will our world look like without them?  Who will follow in the footsteps of those in that generation who modeled hard work, strong ethics, and exemplified commitment to faith, family, and community? At the end of the service, as these thoughts were running through my mind, two finely dressed members of the U.S. Army came forward to provide the military honors for which Mr. Smith was due. As I listened to the strains of taps, and as I watched the folded American flag being respectfully delivered to the son, tears streamed down my face. “Thank you, God,” I thought, “for this man, for this family, and for this faith community that binds us together.”

It’s a humbling experience to help honor a life. Every time I lead or assist in a memorial service or funeral, it is my constant prayer that all I say and do would beautifully honor the life of the deceased, would help the family both grieve over and celebrate that life and that God would be glorified through it all. I hope that was accomplished that day.

The day began in the joyful company of children and ended in the somber, comforting fellowship of a faith community helping celebrate the life of a dear brother in Christ. It was a good day. Thanks be to God.

Anita Thompson, associate pastor for music and worship, First Baptist Church, Ahoskie, North Carolina.

A Day in the Life by Cindy Clark (Wednesday, November 28)

I woke up this morning to the sound of our last turkey gobbling. He seems to still be looking for his friends, the ones we ate for Thanksgiving. Our daughter climbed up into bed with us for some snuggle time. I got up, ate breakfast, and checked email before going to the doctor. The seminary where I teach doesn’t have classes on Mondays, so my part-time role this term feels even less than part-time.

Today I am thirty-six weeks pregnant. When I arrived at the doctor, the receptionist asked me if I was pregnant. Really?! (If you could see how huge I am right now, you would shake your head in disbelief, too). I got to see our son during an ultrasound, and with his due date of December 25, I have been feeling quite a connection to Mary. I was feeling sorry for myself having to walk up forty stairs to my doctor’s office on the third floor of a building that has no elevators. How on earth did she ride a donkey all the way to Bethlehem?! I’ve been worrying about the hospital where I’ll deliver; Mary gave birth in a stable with animals.

As Advent approaches, the waiting and anticipation of the birth of a child has special meaning to me. In many ways, it parallels what has seemed to be my ministry these past years here in the Philippines . . . humbling and simple.

I’m in a culture that values relationships more than time, and people more than efficiency. It is  the greatest thing about this country. It is the thing that drives us the most crazy about this country. Coming here from the madness of life in Atlanta was a shock. All the sudden, I was not busy all the time. I was not sitting in traffic for two hours a day. At first it was nice. Then I had to figure out how to define my success and value apart for an extensive to-do list. I can no longer define the success of my day by how many tasks I completed. My value is no longer based on my accomplishments.

I haven’t eaten a meal in the car in over two years. I snuggle with our daughter a few minutes longer in the mornings, because I know there’s a limited time she’ll want to snuggle with me. I read lots of books. I feel value when I connect with people. I have time to talk with and care for my students.

Women have been having babies for thousands of years, and few of them delivered in a big clean hospital. Our three-year-old daughter was born in Atlanta, and with baby super stores and registries, child-birth classes and birth plans, I made her birth another thing to accomplish and accomplish well. That stuff doesn’t exist here. Sure, I have found the nicest private hospital in town and the best doctor. I will deliver in a nice, new delivery room and recover in a private room. But Mary had Jesus in a barn. I am sure she didn’t have forty-eight different bottles to choose from. Jesus did not blog or plan conferences. I can’t imagine him keeping planner and scheduling events months ahead of time. His ministry was simple.

Today I enjoyed my seemingly simple life. I saw our unborn son on a computer screen, finished Christmas shopping, crocheted, ate lunch outside, and enjoyed my family and relationships. No, I don’t “accomplish” as much as I did working and living in Atlanta, but I’ve never been so certain I’m where I am supposed to be. And Mary is my hero for riding on that donkey!

Cindy Clark is a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel, serving in Baguio City. She teaches at the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary. 

A Day in the Life by Susan Harthon (Tuesday, November 27)

Today I am preoccupied as I walk from the parking deck to the hospital. I am a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship endorsed chaplain. I am also a clinical pastoral educator, certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. My day is usually a mix of these overlapping ministries. I anticipate that today my focus would be on my education ministry with our five resident chaplains. I pause to admire the red roses, still covered with blooms this late in the year, then I hear a voice call out, “Oh, you’re a chaplain.” The lanyard all the chaplains wear has the word “Chaplain” printed on it; she must have noticed mine. “You know, I have a question about the Bible. I want to know who the first person was to be circumcised.”

“Wow, what a great question,” I responded. “Got any ideas?”

“Well, I’m not sure, but I’m going to look it up as soon as I get to my office. I’ll know by lunch time.”

“Sounds good.” The elevator door opens as we arrived; she gets on. “Good talking with you,” I say. “Let me know what you find out.”

“Okay. Bye.” The elevator door closes. I am reminded that there are many ways to connect with God—learning Bible facts seems to be one of hers. Then my thoughts return to the residents and the day’s schedule.

All of us in the Pastoral Care Department—staff chaplains, clinical pastoral educators, chaplain residents, and interns—begin our day by reviewing together the needs for which the on-call chaplains were called or paged since the previous morning. Information is shared that will help the next chaplain minister to these patients and their families. After announcements, one of us leads prayer. We differ in our faith backgrounds, ages, culture, appearance, education, and ministry experience. We are united in our desire to serve. The closing prayer reflects our diversity of being and our unity of purpose. After the prayer, we turn out the lights and head to the office/classroom area.

Today small group education begins with a discussion of a resident’s pastoral care visit. The presenter asks, “How well did I listen and follow what the patient said? What could I have done differently?” We offer feedback. We wonder how the chaplain resident’s earlier life experiences, sense of self as a pastoral caregiver, and theology helped the chaplain connect with and support the person in crisis. How might these also have created barriers during the visit?

After a break, we reconvene. With no pre-determined content this time, the residents have an opportunity to share what is on their hearts. They practice offering each other the kind of care they want to provide for patients, families, and staff. Empathy, respect, staying present with each other even in disagreement—these are a few of the ways of being together that help create a sacred space and honor the presence of God. At the end of the time, we reflect together. What have we learned this morning that will help us serve more fully?

Lunch time. I return a phone call. Questions about becoming a chaplain, about our clinical pastoral education program, about discerning their next step. Where is God leading?

After lunch, residents head to their assigned hospital units. I meet with each of them once a week for about an hour for individual consultation about learning. This afternoon I meet with three. Each has stories to share of ministry experiences in the hospital, joys, disappointments, sorrows, perplexities, and newly-discovered strengths and limitations. One of the weekly reflection questions they write about ahead of time is, “Where or when did you experience the presence of God this week?” Their experiences of God are as unique as the students themselves.

Today is a sacred day. Walking, listening, sharing, praying, learning: God is at work between us as we develop our relationships; God is at work within us as we grow in skill and compassion; God is at work through us, as we seek to be God’s presence, God’s hands and hearts, in this place.

Susan Harthon is a ACPE supervisor and CPE program manager at Wesley Medical Center, Wichita, Kansas.

A Day in the Life by Terri Byrd (Monday, November 26)

Today is going to be a great day! Like most mornings, my husband, Paul, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship endorsed chaplain, brings me my cup of tea before heading to his job at Children’s Hospital. He’s been bringing our family our morning beverages since our children were small … coffee for the three of them and tea for me. Yes, I know how blessed I am!

I run downstairs to make my daughter’s lunch. Evann is seventeen years old and a senior in high school, which means she is totally capable of making her own lunch, and does sometimes; but since her brother, Turner, left for college two years ago, I am vividly aware that I only have a few more months of making her lunch. Besides I absolutely love that she is totally into Spiderman and carries her metal Spiderman lunch box to school with pride. I write, “I love you!” on her napkin, as I have for years, and draw a happy face that I color in with a yellow highlighter.

As the associate coordinator for Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, every day is different and I’m excited to be heading to Perry County today. Our rural poverty initiative, Sowing Seeds of Hope, is a part of the CBF Together for Hope program and is located in Marion. But before I can hit the road, I have emails to reply to and a few people to call.

By 8:30 a.m., I’m driving the long stretch of rural highway that weaves through farmland and forest on the way to Marion. Although the autumn leaves peaked in color a couple of weeks ago, the sun still shimmers on amber, red, and burgundy trees. The soundtrack for the ride is Brandi Carlile’s latest CD, and her lyrics are the perfect accompaniment for today, “One thing I know for sure, love will find a way.”

Today a group of volunteers from Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham, students from Judson College, and Sowing Seeds of Hope volunteers are gathering for their annual Thanksgiving project. When I pull into the training center, the van from Mountain Brook is already being unloaded. Boxes of canned goods and hundreds of decorated paper bags are being piled on tables.

We all jump in and begin filling each bag with cans of green beans, corn, and sweet potatoes. Boxes of stuffing or rice are added along with fruit pie filling … all of the ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal. A gift certificate for a turkey from the local grocery store is stapled to each bag along with a Thanksgiving prayer.

In the next few hours, 200 bags are filled by volunteers. The bags are distributed to senior adults in local churches, many on a fixed income and who might not be able to afford a Thanksgiving meal at the end of the month. Members of each local church come by to pick up their allotted bags to hand-deliver. The director of Sowing Seeds of Hope, Francis Ford (one of my all-time favorite people), says, “It’s been a good day.”

By mid-afternoon, I’m back in my home office where I work on some details for our spring youth mission retreat. There are new emails to answer and preparations to be made for an upcoming coordinating council meeting and an event for the ministers in our state.

At 5 p.m., I close the computer and switch gears. Tonight is Evann’s last high school cross country team banquet. I’m so proud of the young woman she has become, and I know that she realizes that her future is bright and open to a huge diversity of amazing adventures. After all, her mom spends her days involved in a ministry she loves, following a calling that God placed in her heart. She can do the same.

Terri Byrd is associate coordinator for Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Birmingham, Alabama. 

A Day of the Life by Suzanne Vinson (Sunday, November 25)

today i set off to work with the sun at my back. the rays of light warming my neck, knowing that the light that surrounds me is filling me up as i move into the morning. dropping my son at school, i set off to Westminster Canterbury where i serve as a chaplain part-time.

with me, my finger rosary. i pray for those with whom i offer care, presence, and support.  i pray for those who are hurting.  those who are healed.  those who come to mind and those for whom i’ve worn the ring for. prayers that span over a decade are said again and again, each time i place the ring on my finger. 

prayer is such a wonderful part of ministry. prayer takes place in many spaces here: at bedsides, in services, and walking through the halls.  with this practice, so much more can be held.

meeting a retired Episcopal priest, long-time presence in the pastoral care of Westminster Canterbury, i heard a few jokes and discovered he was praying for me this week. he was happy to meet me, and eager to discover if i could feel his prayers. indeed!

during the day i attended a weekly communion service, receiving communion from a local episcopal priest. she is well loved and appreciated.  new to the position, i continued meeting folks following the service. lingering outside the chapel, i benefited from snipits of stories. happy faces. and warm greetings.

following worship, i visited with folks whose stories and lives shine forth with depth and love. whether these have stories that include pain or loss, in these moments they are filled with deep appreciation and gratitude for their place in life, their love for family and friends, and for the health they do have.

during one visit i was asked if i could tell a good joke. i promised to return with a joke worth telling, then he could tell me if i was a good joke teller. after listening to his request, i was able to see him light up as he talked about his family. his family is everything.  they are the world to him.  we prayed together, hand in hand, and the presence of love surrounded us in the room. you could feel the love he carries for his family being carried by God to them in that moment.  love was present and warm and wonderful.

other residents shared stories and memories. my cup was full, and it was time to pick up my son from school.

after picking up my first grader, we went to the playground behind the school where he could run and play soccer. i returned to the light to find myself soaking in the final rays from the sun.  those rays were bringing warmth and gratitude into my heart’s center. i felt in that moment that i am exactly where i’m meant to be in that moment.

i am an artist, mother, and minister, called to create, showing up for the ministry of this beautiful interim work. i am making plans for bereavement groups and retreats to come. i am present to my beautiful boy and love of my life. i am also tired at times! forever learning the balance of eating whole foods, moving my body, loving well, and savoring each moment.

from the playground we went to aikido where my boy achieved his orange belt.  we went home in celebration, and i made a healthy meal for our family ((which takes greater effort with the new chaplain position in the mix)). then, listening to the new rhythms of my body, i turned in early for bed, even falling asleep before finishing my wisdom card for my blog, called to create.

Suzanne Vinson is a chaplain at Westminster Canterbury in Richmond, Virginia. Read more of her blogs, reverendartistmother or calledtocreate or see her art work.

A Day in the Life by Kathy Pickett (Saturday, November 24)

Today I was up and out of the house at six thirty a.m. to gather with the Thursday morning women’s prayer breakfast. We gather weekly for prayer and fellowship. Upon arrival I greeted the men’s group coordinator who shared he had been diagnosed with leukemia, his second round of cancer. We discussed the additional grief this news adds to his family who recently lost his brother to cancer.

Following our gathering, I moved into Holiday Market mode. Holiday Market is a forty-one-year-old fundraising event for youth missions. Our guests count on homemade cinnamon rolls to nibble on in the morning. Having no one to make them this year meant my first morning call was to a bakery. The next call secured advertising. Then I sent an email to assure flyers were going up in local coffee shops and stores. Our social media assistant, Lilli Hill (my daughter), showed up to do some in-office work.  My grandson, Elijah, was with her, and of course I had to stop and give him a hug.

At nine a.m. I headed to my weekly voice lesson. I have always been involved in some type of musical expression. When I am not singing, I begin to feel like part of me is missing.  My schedule doesn’t allow much extra time to join a choir so I take lessons and participate in two recitals a year. Musical expression is therapeutic and rejuvenates my creative self and soul.  It is time well spent.

Heading back to work I received a call from a church member who needed to voice her congregational concerns.  Then I received another call from a member who needed a ride to pick up her newly adopted cat. Before the morning concluded, I met with a young woman who grew up attending our church. She had traveled with our youth group, and I officiated her wedding a few years ago.  We spent time catching up with each other and discussing the joys and struggles of her new family life.

The afternoon arrived, and I shifted toward sermon preparation. Mixed in my exploration of the biblical text I continued to answer calls and emails concerning Holiday Market. I noticed an email from a community social worker and responded to her questions concerning food for homeless high school students. Our volunteer food pantry coordinator and I discussed the frequency of folks visiting the pantry.  I responded to an email concerning volunteer work with another partner organization. In-between it all I continued reading articles and researching my sermon text. Later in the day, I received a call from a doctoral student needing to vent.

In the midst of business and multitasking, I experience our Triune God all day long. A prognosis of cancer evoked concern and care for family while faith provided strength and courage. The women’s group shared sacred communion through food, fellowship, and prayer.  The presence of Christ was evidenced as volunteers generously offered their time and support to Holiday Market.  My young friend expressed the Spirit’s holy nudging to raise her family in a community of faith. Our conversation proved God has been at work in her life for a very long time.  I witnessed God working through the lives of social workers and our church’s volunteers who were seeking to meet the needs of the least of these. Time for grandbabies and music provided much needed spiritual renewal. Through it all, there was time to offer and receive the fruits of God’s labor, who is indeed working all the time.

Kathy Pickett is pastor of congregational life, Holmeswood Baptist Church, Kansas City, Missouri.

A Day in the Life by Catherine Bahn (Friday, November 23)

Today I did absolutely nothing.

No, really. No work, not even a whisper, crept into life today.

For the first time since I attended a junior high school lock-in, I slept until nearly 10 a.m. I survived a long-overdue hair appointment. I shared lunch with my sister-in-law, whom I haven’t seen in five months. I sat outside. I read. I watched the trees blow in the wind, and I swear I saw the leaves change colors.

I sat still.

Today I went to a bookstore. I walked the aisles, searching for nothing at all. I ordered a chai latte and drank it outside, with no place to go. There, I overheard two young men discussing God’s grace. And I wondered about the last time I sat outside a bookstore and discussed God’s grace or what’s really going on in my life or where I’ve seen God at work. Because, let’s be real, most days, I’m too busy, or lazy, for that: I wake up, make coffee and follow my rag-tag routine. I go to the office, respond to emails, check items off lists, make plans, talk on the phone, catch-up with ministry partners, wonder about what’s next, worry about money.

But today I listened.

I heard the voice of my only brother who lives on the opposite side of the state. Today I didn’t just read his words from a text; I didn’t just follow him on Twitter. I heard his voice. We shared multiple conversations. I made fun of him. He returned the favor. We spent an entire afternoon in the same city, the same space. That’s rare. We shared dinner together, attended a concert together. And when we got home, we stretched out on separate couches and fell asleep waiting on my sister-in-law to return from work. When she arrived, she promptly woke us up from our identical sleeping positions and called us “grandpa” and “grandma.”  “You two are so related,” she said, rolling her eyes.

Today I enjoyed this time I’m calling a “sabbatical.”

I often underestimate the need for rest. Because I work seven days a week, and I’ve learned to make life work on little sleep, constant motion and insanity, I’ve convinced myself I don’t need rest. I am young, I can make it work. And then I find myself sick, stretched out on the couch for a week, wondering why I’m so tired. We trick ourselves into ignoring God’s simple instruction: rest.

My head tells my heart, “Who needs rest? I’m too busy ministering.” I imagine God, (when I’m honest with myself) sighing in reply, “Oh, please, enough already with your empty, selfless sacrifices. Even I rest.”

Yes, today I saw God moving, changing one season to the next. Maybe more importantly, today I saw God resting. And I rested too.

Catherine Bahn is co-director of Together for Hope -Arkansas, part of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s rural poverty initiative, Helena, Arkansas.  

A Day in the Life by Angel Pittman (Thursday, November 22)

Today I knew would be a little different. I usually do the after-school pick up and try to cram in a full day’s work during my son’s school hours. But today, at Touching Miami with Love, local artists were coming to work with our after-school kids. We have a partnership with a local art studio operated by a downtown church and a non-profit arts group, and this afternoon, the artists would be leading our kids in an Art Day so my husband Jason was on school-pick-up duty.

The artists inflated their giant sculpture of a cloud, and the kids brainstormed and created art as an artist shared “I am a giant because I can feel God’s love.” The activity was a great way to merge the ways the kids felt empowered by the gifts, talents, and abilities the Lord has given them with the joy of creating art.

Some of our kids at Touching Miami with Love finished their own statement, and wrote “I am a giant because…

“I am creative.” Tyleesha, 12

“I am good at spelling.”  Areal, 8

“I am ME!” Miguel, 10

Angel Pittman is assistant director, Touching Miami with Love, Miami, Florida.