My church, Cornerstone Church in Grayson, Georgia, will soon move into a new building–the very first building to be owned by our congregation. We began dreaming of having a permanent place to settle well over a year ago, and after lots of prayer and conversation and after losing one potential property, last August we found a perfect building–an unoccupied Presbyterian church in Snellville. And oh, the church building is so perfect–a white church with a steeple set in the middle of a wooded area. It is that “little church in the wildwood.”
The only hold back on the building was that it cost money–and money is something our small, six-year-old church doesn’t have too much of. But again, we prayed and dreamed and began looking for ways to raise money to purchase the building, and a wonderful story of grace and generosity began unfolding. Our congregation began giving, and then friends of Cornerstone living in Texas gave us $10,000.00. And then a foundation sent money, and Baptist churches across Georgia began sending checks. Then the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia provided a contribution.
Meanwhile, I had somehow been given the job of making announcements on Sunday mornings. So every Sunday during worship I stood before our congregation and told them that more money had come in–that people and churches and organizations believed in the work we were doing, shared our vision. And just let me tell you–making such announcements in my church results in loud applause, some shouting, and lots of “Hallelujahs” and “Thank You, Jesus!” Good news gets a very enthusiastic response at Cornerstone, which means making these announcements was a lot of fun.
One morning as I stood to make a new announcement some unplanned words came out of my mouth (and if you know me–you know that I plan pretty much every word that I say so this was one of those rare moments of spontaneity for me). The words I spoke: “I stand before you today as the minister of good news!”
And indeed I have been blessed to be the bearer of good news at my church–good news of the kindness of others, good news of financial support from unexpected sources, and good news of the purchase of a building that we will soon move into. I have been so blessed to be able to share the good news.
But as I have thought through my unplanned remarks I have realized that we are all ministers of good news. We all are called to share the good news of God’s love and the good news of how God is working in the world. And the world would surely be a better place if the good news was as enthusiastically received everywhere as it is at Cornerstone.
There are more stories to tell about Cornerstone and our journey. There is more good news in our future–and I hope to share those stories along the way.
Pam Durso is executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry in Atlanta, Georgia, and member of Cornerstone Church–soon to be in its new church building in Snellville, Georgia!