I’ve been involved with a committee at church for over half a year that has been helping to shape the upcoming capital campaign. I’d like to share a simple story with you that resonated with me during these meetings.
My Dad was baptized and confirmed in a small, you could say “country,” church in Northern Illinois. This church, still in existence today, is called Jefferson Prairie Church. It’s about 10 miles south of Clinton, WI, where my Dad grew up. He was baptized and confirmed at this church but left town to go to school, serve in WWII, marry my mother and start a family.
My brother, Robert, went to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in the 1970s. He was helping one of his colleagues do research about Luther, and they found a simple monument dedicated to the organizations and people that helped found the college. Very surprisingly, he found the name of our Great-Grandfather on that monument. Unbeknownst to our family, he was leader of the church council of Jefferson Prairie Church during the time the church helped found Luther College in the 1860s.
While the connection to my family is interesting, I couldn’t stop thinking about how this very small church helped found a great college. “Big enough to make a difference” seemed to be very appropriate.
In 1984, my mother died and was buried in a cemetery in Clinton. Even though my Dad had not lived in Clinton for a very long time, the congregants of Jefferson Prairie Church had a ‘light lunch’ for our family after the interment. “Small enough to care” certainly seems apropos, doesn’t it?
This story about Jefferson Prairie Church reminded me very much of our church. “Big enough to make a difference, small enough to care”. For over 150 years. Generations upon generations.
I’m thankful for Jefferson Prairie Church and all its congregants that have maintained that facility for such a long time. And I’m thankful for our “Prairie” Church, EPUMC, and for all the congregants that make our church what it is today. And while there may not be a lot of glamour in our facility needs, its maintenance is needed to support our little “Prairie” church. Hopefully, for many years to come. That is why my wife and I are contributing generously to the capital campaign and ask you to prayerfully consider pledging, too, so that we have a solid facility for our future of ‘caring for’ and ‘making a difference in the lives of’ the children of God.