77 W. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
The Baptism of a Fisherman04-27-2009
Recently members of Christ the Carpenter UMC in Rockford, IL, witnessed a spiritual occasion akin to our United Methodist motto – Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open doors.
OPEN HEARTS: Revelation 22:17 ‘… And whosoever will, let him come.’
Shortly after meeting Pastor Montel at our Pantry, a needy family began attending Christ the Carpenter regularly as they would always receive unconditional love from the little church on the big corner with a big heart. Soon conditions grew better for the entire family. The father found a job; they have a house to live in, a vehicle to drive and plenty of food to eat from their own pantry and freezer.
OPEN MINDS: Romans 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? … for we shall all stand be fore the judgment seat of Christ.
As time passed, church members continued to demonstrate agape love towards the family during their ‘best of times and the worst of times’. No one ever questioned why the family came to us in such dire straits. No one even caste judgment when we found out that Pearl, the son’s 16 year- old girlfriend, was pregnant nor that the son would spend the next year in juvenile for theft. What we saw were two young people participating actively in Bible School, sometimes in Sunday school, and working responsibly during the summer at Patriot’s Gateway. We are aware, however, of the problems regarding teen pregnancy. Every year around 750,000 girls will get pregnant. More than 2/3 of all teenagers who have a baby will not graduate from high school.
OPEN DOORS: Mark 1:17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
Pearl gave birth to a beautiful baby boy a few weeks ago and in her humble and quiet manner, she brought her baby to church for all to admire and cuddle. The following Sunday, Pearl brought her baby and a group of pre-teens and teenagers to church, enough to fill nearly the entire pew. After his sermon, Pastor Montel extended an ‘invitation’ to the altar for to those who wanted prayer or who wanted to learn how to become a member of the church. Suddenly, Pearl passed her bundled baby to the grandmother, stood and walked toward the altar. She looked back and beckoned her friends to follow. Trusting in Pearl’s faith, the entire row of friends stood and followed Pearl, some weeping, to the altar and ultimately to Christ. We were all so happy. There were hardly any dry eyes in the church.
Upon completion of their new membership class, Pearl and her friends will be baptized at Christ the Carpenter Church. You are all invited to the baptism of a fisherman!