End of Year Need, Dec. 21

by | Dec 21, 2023 | Stewardship

End of year need: $331,245

Each month the full Wilshire staff gathers in Community Hall for lunch and an activity. It has become a time to better know those we work and prepare worship with. Activities have ranged from a “Chopped”-style dessert challenge to building towers with marshmallows and toothpicks. My favorite activity split them into five teams with one mission: find something around the building that defines Wilshire and bring it back for show and tell. The teams had 10 minutes to discuss and search.

They quickly returned with their objects, ready to share with the large group. One team shared a photo of the baptistery tapestry. Another team found a copy of the bylaws and discussed the decisions of the past that had created an open and inclusive community for all. Daniel Latin carried down the huge Bible from the Communion table and talked about living out the word of God. Rene Altamirano shared a picture of Choral Hall and told how almost every day he takes his lunch there, feeling the presence of music and the Holy Spirit. The last group’s spokesperson was Maricela Escutia. Her team showed the all-member photo taken in the Sanctuary. Maricela said, “What best describes who Wilshire is and how the mission of Wilshire is carried out is through the people — their love and desire to share the Spirit of God in the world in ways only they can. It’s the people!”

This message is not meant to be self-congratulatory or only focus on an insular model of church. But Maricela is right. There are churches up and down Abrams that any of you could attend, yet you choose to be part of Wilshire Baptist Church. As one theologian put it, “We don’t build the kingdom of God. We announce it. We seek it. We receive it. We bear witness to it. We build for it. God builds it.” We as Wilshire have chosen to announce, seek, receive and bear witness to the kingdom of God in unique and holy ways. It is through the people being completely open to discerning where the Spirit is moving, grabbing hold and moving with it. Wilshire’s vision and mission continue to be “to become a bold witness to the way of Christ in our time” and “to build a community of faith shaped by the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” Both call us outside our comfort zones and even these walls.

By giving, we are taking what we have to accomplish our God-given mission, individually and together, in our congregation. As Christian stewards we align our lives and ministries with God’s intentions for God’s world. Consider how you can give to sustain and continue the work we are doing together.

Grace, Peace and Love.

—Timothy Peoples