A Ministry Minute by Christine Courtney
My name is Christine Courtney. I’ve been an Episcopalian for 40 years, and a member of St. Andrew’s for a decade. I’ve worn many hats here at St. Andrew’s, but today I want to tell you about Parish Life and Fellowship.
I have to acknowledge the abundance of gifts that God graced me with. These do not take the form of speaking softly (I don’t know how to whisper). God gave me parents who loved me unconditionally and while my dad was not “church going,” he had a strong sense of right and wrong. My mom was raised in the Church of England, but we lived so far in the country we attended the local Southern Baptist church.
While our childhood had some trauma, our parents showed God’s unconditional love to me. Because of that, my life was transformed into a lifelong commitment to helping others. I was taught to give back to my community and to the world. Over the years, this moved me to participate in or lead some of the ministries here at St. Andrew’s. Recently, that involved preparing and hosting coffee hours, potlucks and the craft fair. I enjoy being a willing listener and a friendly face as parishioners come and go to the services. In return, I’ve experienced the love, fellowship, and community of our parish. As the pandemic has made it impossible to be in church in person, I’ve started participating in the Compline services via Facebook Live as a way of virtually connecting with people. This is an excellent way to form community and spread the love of God.
Tithing is an important and consistent part of my faith. In this time of so many crises in our country, not only does tithing help to support St. Andrew’s, but it also helps to support the many ministries with which we are involved, and it connects me to God.