Heartfelt moments on Family Sunday
On the latest of the Cape Elizabeth UMC’s celebrations of Family Sunday, children and their parents were greeters, ushers, acolytes, scripture readers, and organizers of the Children’s Story.
But on this Nov. 15 Family Sunday, the most poignant moments came during the sermon when Ruth Dufresne and her daughter Dana told the story of Honorine Mboghue Mefumya, the young girl they sponsor in the Republic of Cameroon, Africa.
Ruth went to Cameroon 20 years ago as a public health volunteer with the Peace Corps. After returning, she wanted to find a way to give something back to the community that treated her so well — sponsoring a child gave her that opportunity. It has been five years since Ruth and Dana began their sponsorship of Honorine, who is now 13 years old and attending fourth grade.
“It’s my way of repaying the people of Cameroon for the way they welcomed me into their homes (when I was in the Peace Corps),” Ruth said during her sermon.
Ruth explained that Honorine lives in a home made of mud and sticks and that all of her meals are cooked on an open fire. It takes her almost an hour to walk to school each day.
For this Family Sunday, the theme of the day was “Orphan Sunday” and Honorine was the focus of attention.
At the end of her sermon, Ruth asked the congregation to help all orphans like Honorine “because we’re all orphans and all God’s (adopted) children.”
More information about Orphan Sunday can be found on its web site, which explains, “the seeds for Orphan Sunday come as a gift from the Church in Africa. While attending a church service in Zambia, an American visitor was struck by the pastor’s passionate call to care for orphans in the local community, which had been ravaged by AIDS and poverty. Members of the church faced deep need themselves. But as the service ended, one after another stepped forward with money, food and other goods — some even taking off their own shoes and placing them in the offering for orphans.
For more information on Orphan Sunday, click here: www.orphansunday.org.
While Ruth and Dana talked about the plight of a young girl growing up in Cameroon, Megan and Katie Connelly gave the scripture lesson and talked about love, from 1 Corinthians 13:
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became an adult, I put away childish things
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Also during the service, Lucas Lefebvre served as the very focused acolyte, Tyler Rodenberger and Beth Austin were greeters and offering collectors, Carol Hubbard and Jasper led the Children’s Story, and Shirley Maxwell and daughter Cayden served snacks during the post-service fellowship.
It also was a memorable Family Sunday because Gail Parker provided a Stewardship Moment with her personal experiences of tithing, but most importantly, Gail also played the organ while still coping with the lingering impact of her injured hand.
There were many reasons to celebrate this Family Sunday — and we did.