“What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.”
That New Living Translation version of the Bible passage Hebrews 11:1 tells me all I need to know about faith – yours, mine, anyone’s.
Faith is an entirely personal thing can be celebrated with a group or in solitude. Some prefer services steeped in tradition with pipe organs and a congregation dressed in its “Sunday best.” Others commune one-on-one running along a nature trail.
Your faith is yours alone and how you express it is up to you. It is my hope that through this column you may learn something about someone else’s faith or be inspired by someone’s faithfulness or be validated about your own beliefs. This is our journey together as we keep Faith in Focus.
Jennifer Goforth Gregory has shared these stories of faith with you for more than two years, and I will do my best to continue exploring and promoting faith-based events and issues in our area just as she has. I hope you won’t be shy about letting me know what is going on with you and those who share your faith. We can all learn so much from each other when we are keeping Faith in Focus.
One thing that faith-based communities do so well is to wrap members in need in comfort and love. Lisa Kane and Bonnie Braswell founded their Covered in Love Ministries to do just that after each of them experienced the grief of losing a child.
“Someone gave me a blanket, and it was the most special gift I ever got,” Kane says. “It was a simple gift, nothing fancy, but it is so much more than that. That blanket sits out at our home, my kids all get into the blanket, it’s big and we all fit in that blanket.”
That inspired Kane to provide a blanket for a friend and now Covered in Love provides dozens of blankets each month for women grappling with miscarriage, stillbirth or the loss of an infant.
“It’s a very empty feeling,” Kane says. “It’s hard to explain but is a cold kind of emptiness.”
Covered in Love partners with Rex Hospital to ensure that grieving mothers and siblings are sent home with one of their special blankets and they rely on the helping hands of volunteers to create them.
The next blanket-making session is Saturday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Lifepointe Church at 9500 Durant Road in North Raleigh. Women and girls who are middle school-age or older are welcome to attend, but should register in advance at www.lifepointechurch.com. Volunteers are asked to contribute $10 toward the cost of the fabric and to bring a pair of scissors to the event.
Covered in Love Ministries also accepts blanket requests through its web site and offers a faith-based support group for mothers dealing with the loss of a baby.
St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh will be holding its monthly Soup on Sunday meal on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. St. Mark's conducts Soup on Sunday in ministry with The Men's and Women's Healing Place of Wake County. Members of the Healing Place are brought to St. Mark's for a time of food and fellowship with our congregation and anyone who would like to join. Everyone is welcome, and the meal is free of charge. This month's menu is baked ham, rosemary roasted potatoes, seasoned zucchini and vegetable medley, rolls, assorted desserts, as well as iced tea and lemonade. St. Mark's is located at 4801 Six Forks Road in Raleigh. For more information, contact Bill Zeiss at email@example.com
A Welcoming Environment
Umstead Park United Church of Christ is announcing the addition of gender-identified signage for its restrooms. UPUCC is very supportive of the Triangle’s LGBT community and updated the signs to make transgender individuals feel safe and welcome in the building. The idea to change the signage originated with a church member who is the parent of a transgender child. UPUCC is located at 8208 Brownleigh Drive in Raleigh.