By Linda Barber
On this the morning of Christmas Eve, we are reminded of how Christ was born in a simple manger where there was no room at the inn. A simple building gave shelter to Mary, Joseph and their baby boy. Today, we celebrate this birth in our historic church building, which shelters us when we come to worship. Our building embraces not only our members, but our surrounding community. You don’t have to be a member to join us for Sunday worship. All are welcome. But we often don’t think about how part of our annual budget allows us to open our doors so that outside groups can meet inside our building. No rent is charged. There are no fees for room set-up, clean-up, utilities, or normal wear and tear.
You may be aware of some of these groups that meet here weekly, such as the Boy Scouts or the Red Cross, which uses our building periodically for blood drives. We also provide office space for Montana de Luz, a home and school located in Honduras for children affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
But you may not know that every week for two hours, about 50 individuals come together for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in our Fellowship Hall. This is a group designed for people who have a desire to quit drinking; they have met here for more than 25 years. I was told that there is an individual who was a regular attendee until he moved to Cincinnati 15 years ago. However, whenever he is back in town to visit his family, he stops in because he knows that there will be a meeting at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays at Worthington Presbyterian Church. He depends on that. They all do.
Also on Wednesday nights, Al Anon meets in our church. This is a group of people whose lives are affected by someone else’s drinking. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, they meet to share their experiences and give each other strength and hope.
And did you know that on Thursdays, Recovery International meets here? It is a group for men and women of all ages who suffer from mental health issues. They learn self-help skills so that they may lead more peaceful and protective lives.
It is your generosity when you choose to give to Worthington Presbyterian that allows our beautiful church to open its doors to provide shelter for its members, but also to embrace others within our community as they gather to give each other support.