Submitted by Rev. Richard Hull, Interim Minister at First Christian Church
Last June a major portion of a stately live oak fell across the driveway at First Christian Church in Jacksonville, Florida. The cost to remove it was $2,500. At that point the congregation’s finances were stretched, and it didn’t have the money needed. Week of Compassion provided a $750 Solidarity Grant. That grant inspired members of the congregation to give the balance that was needed to remove the tree.
This year when the Week of Compassion offering was received, the congregation challenged itself to repay the Solidarity Grant of $750. The previous year’s offering had only been $250. When the offering was counted it amounted to $746. However, before anyone could add another $4, a friend of the church came into the office. She said, “I have come into a small inheritance. I have followed the congregation’s tree story. Here is a check for $1,000 for Week of Compassion.” The congregation’s total response this year is $1,746.
Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” But it is also true that receiving can inspire us to become a blessing through giving. First Christian Church in Jacksonville has been around since 1873. It has started new congregations, senior citizen ministries, a day care and supported the Disciple Mission for over 140 years. It is grateful for the compassion it received in a time of need.