By the traditional Christian calendar, today is the feast of All Saints, a day to remember the people whose lives have shaped us and who stewarded and imparted to us the stories of our faith. As Bruce Barkhauer of the Center for Faith and Giving notes, "All Saints Day is, at its core, about legacy and promise - what has been left behind by those who have gone ahead for us to build upon and the 'blessed assurance' of what lies ahead for the faithful." We celebrate on this day the ways in which people live on through the love they have shown. We join on this day with full communion of saints throughout all of history to declare God's goodness and witness to liberation found in Christ Jesus.
One way the saints continue to bear faithful witness is through the endowment fund of Week of Compassion. Named endowments, established to honor and remember loved ones, ensure the continuing ministries of relief and development in North America and around the world.
Rev. Robyn Fickes Bles (Associate Minister, West Des Moines Christian Church) and Jordan Blevins Bles share one story of ongoing generosity and witness through the Week of Compassion endowment.
Love Shines On
by Rev. Robyn Fickes Bles
I recently read that a star, long after its fiery heart burns out, continues to shine its light throughout the galaxies. Years after what could be described as its bodily essence has dimmed, the star's brilliance is still illuminating the far corners of distant space.
This can also be said for my daughter, Milly. For the 14 months we spent with her she was a brilliant light, fighting to shine in the darkness of a bleak surgical accident and ensuing traumatic brain injury. Her story, her spirit, rallied together people from around the world. Her life's work showcased the work of the church in ways this pastor has never experienced. And when our bright star passed from this world, her light continued to shine in the dark places of our world. So many people continue to speak of how Milly touches their lives, and that is why my husband and I chose to help Milly's spirit keep reaching and impacting others.
With the Wonder Milly Fund through Week of Compassion, Milly's life and brilliant spirit reaches into the far corners of our world; bringing light and hope, life and strength in those times that seem the darkest. Our Milly and the work of Week of Compassion, like those brilliant lights that fill the dark night sky, are the backdrop for our greatest moments of dreaming and hoping. They allow love to shine on.
A Prayer for All Saints Day
By each life you seek, generous God, to bless the world - through the tenderness of smiles, hugs, and tears; through the power of stories and relationships; through the sharing of abundant resources. Thank you for the lives that have blessed us. By their example make us to be a blessing for others. With that great cloud of witnesses, we proclaim your goodness and pray to be faithful stewards of our lives and our resources. By the grace of Christ Jesus, Amen.
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