Woven Into the Tapestry – Rob Banta.
Pam and I have been at Wilshire for more than 35 years. Nineteen years ago we moved to Frisco from Lake Highlands. We drive 50 miles round trip to come to church on Sunday. We’re here, and have stayed here, because we want to be in this church, not just a church. This is our home.
Now, why is that so? Thanksgiving seems an appropriate time to reflect on all the wonderful things about Wilshire that we are so grateful for — a traditional style of worship, thought-provoking, challenging and inspirational preaching, a pastoral residency program that enriches our congregational life and impacts the future of the Church nationwide, missions and advocacy emphases, teaching, music, pastoral care, an intergenerational congregation, beautiful facilities — the list goes on and on. As important as those things are, I think the real reason that Wilshire is so important to us is that we have woven ourselves into the fabric of the place; we are part of the tapestry that is Wilshire.
That’s the kind of place Wilshire is. Wilshire is a vibrant community of people who live their faith by doing God’s work and by sacrificially giving of their resources, time and talent. There are a lot more givers than takers at Wilshire. The typical Wilshire member is not just a casual attender but an active participant in the ministry and mission of the church. There are people who depend on both Pam and me being here every Sunday and at other times. We have responsibilities to fulfill that make a difference to other people. And, we, in turn, count on others to do what they do to enhance our Wilshire experience. That’s something to be grateful for.
Over the past 15 months, our family has had a special need related to the health of a newborn grandson. Wilshire’s ministerial staff and members have been there for us through countless prayers and expressions of concern. We had a need, and we are so thankful that Wilshire cared. Have you had a similar experience?
This is a critical time in the life of our church. As we begin to emerge from the dark days of a global pandemic of historic proportion, and this coming on the heels of our courageous decision to embrace diversity and inclusion, all within the span of just five years, there is a strong need to re-engage our community and to restore and renew our commitment to attendance, active participation and, of course, financial support.
We will have only the church that we decide to have. Others who have come before us have answered the call in their time, and now we, as beneficiaries of their faithfulness, have the opportunity to be good stewards of our inheritance and do the same for those who will follow us. We have much to be grateful for; let us respond accordingly.
Please carefully consider your commitment to Wilshire as you deliver a statement of your intended giving for the coming year at the end of today’s service.
• Rob Banta and his wife, Pam, raised three children at Wilshire. Rob, an attorney, attends Epiphany Class and is chair of deacons this year.