First of all, THANK YOU. I’m learning that when something is asked of you, First Congregational, you don’t mess around! Your response to the request for protein bars and toothpaste for our Back Bay Mission trip was over the top, as was the response to the hygiene items drive for the homeless. Literally, your contributions far exceeded the space we made available.

I’m grateful not only for the contributions, but for the ways the generosity doesn’t stop there. This week, 10 of us from our congregation (and 3 others from Wisconsin) will immerse ourselves in the work of Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, MS. We’ll deliver protein bars and toothpaste, but we’ll also do whatever is needed to be of help and support for Back Bay’s work. That might include carpentry, sorting items in the food pantry, cleaning showers at the day center, or any number of other tasks.

We’ll be taking items and offering service while we’re there, but I’m certain we’ll also bring something back. The most exciting part of a mission trip for me is never what I do or what I offer, but what I learn from the experience, and how my heart is opened just a little bit wider for having made the journey. It’s hard to predict what that will look like. I do know it will involve other peoples’ stories, learning about the history and culture of a place I’ve never visited before, and likely feeling challenged to venture outside of what is familiar and comfortable for me.

The request for protein bars and toothpaste came about because others who went to Back Bay last year realized there was something specific we could bring with us this year that would be useful. (Thank you, Nancy Brown-Koeller, for identifying this need!) And so the cycle will continue. Ideally, what we bring back with us this year from Back Bay (and other opportunities for outreach through our congregation), will keep the cycle of generosity, gratitude, servant leadership and spiritual growth moving forward.

Thank you for being a part of something bigger and greater than you now know.

Your friend and fellow traveler on the journey,

Pastor Kathryn Kuhn

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