My grandmother and grandfather were organizing members of several Lutheran mission starts in Alaska, including the one in which I grew up. Their leadership in mission set an early example for me of what lives committed to the good news of Jesus should look like. They showed me that faith joined to loving action could change people and whole communities.
When I began seminary, Grandma and Grandpa decided that they’d write one of their monthly benevolence checks to me to help with books or groceries or whatever I needed. More than the money, the accompanying letter was a clear message that I was supported and loved: that I was just where God meant me to be.
Grandma died unexpectedly before I told her how deeply her life had affected mine and how much the pastor I am is owed to her nurturing and teaching. To borrow Paul’s words to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:5), I write this in tribute to the “sincere faith, which first lived in [my] grandmother [Betty] and in [my] mother [Kathy],” and I hope that others feel “now lives in [me].”
This message is excerpted from “Of God and Grandma” by Collette Broady Grund from the April 27, 2015, blog of the Women of the ELCA. Today we commemorate Timothy, Titus and Silas, missionaries.
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