When Dick was an elementary school-aged child, being given an allowance of fifty cents, his mother taught him to give to the church from his money. Five cents went in the offering plate then and he still had enough to go to the Beacon Theater in Hopewell, Virginia — and to buy a box of popcorn! Dick and I are happy to make giving to the church an important part of our life. We find a lot of satisfaction in doing so – and there is still enough for some “popcorn.”
For 47 years we have been intentional members of RRCB and have been proud to support the programs and missions’ outreach of the church. We were attracted to the children’s programs when we joined with a seven-year-old. The “Children’s Church” program, which helped our child grow in her readiness for the worship service in the Sanctuary, was meaningful. The adult programs offered for us, then, were directed toward allowing us to grow in “Thoughtful Faith” before the church took on this tagline. We were happy to give in support of such programs. Moreover, the preaching was, as it has continued to be, superb, challenging, and nurturing for our spiritual growth.
Being a part of a church, which offers good opportunities for spiritual growth is still important to us. The beauty of the Sanctuary invites us to worship as we enter each week. The fine music and organ further enhance that experience. We are happy to help maintain the spaces in which we worship and learn. For this we are happy to give to RRCB.
It is also important to us to be a part of a church which reaches out into the community and the world to minister to those in need. It gives us joy to share God’s love in this way. We are in support of the church budget which gives us an opportunity to make gifts and give “cooperatively” with other moderate Baptists. My work at the Baptist Foreign Mission Board, now International Mission Board (IMB), during my college years, gave first hand insight into the love and care given by those missionaries and what can be done when many churches give together. RRCB gives to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) which sends missionaries and field representatives to needy areas of America and around the world. Jesus said, “Go into all the world…” This is good reason for us to give through RRCB.
We are delighted that RRCB, as a congregation, sends teams of our own members to Bland and Nicklesville VA, to Standing Rock, North Dakota, to Panama, and to Farmington, ME, just to name some of the current church sponsored missions. RRCB’s Missions’ budget helps make these missions possible. At the same time, at home in our church, 50 to 60 of us are packing food twice a year to be sent to third world countries, through Rise Against Hunger, mainly to feed school children. CARITAS homeless guests are hosted by RRCB twice a year, allowing us in the congregation opportunities to make them welcome. The Missions Budget of RRCB pays for the supplies for us to do both of these missions. These are good reasons for us to give to RRCB.
Locally, RRCB is supporting tutoring programs at Oak Grove Elementary School through the Micah Initiative and carrying donations of food to be distributed in our Baptist Centers in the city. Through our budget we help support and staff those centers and the Camp Alkulana program which serves children of the Richmond area who live below the poverty line. Women of the church go throughout the year, carrying food they have prepared, to feed the homeless who gather at the Oregon Hill Baptist Center, as well as other supplies. Men and women of the church build ramps for handicapped individuals in a local program in the city. The Missions Budget provides the money for this. We find joy in helping to support these missions, …starting in Judea, as Jesus directed, where we are, in our community.
While we cannot always personally be involved in missions’ outreach from our church, we are happy to give in support of the Missions Budget initiatives and those who can go. Equally, we are happy to give to support the beauty of the very special place of worship we find in River Road Church, Baptist, the leadership of the staff, the programs for spiritual growth for children, youth and adults, and the fine sermons and music. We are thankful that we, our children, and our grandchildren have benefitted in this place. For all of the above reasons we are happy to keep on giving to the church, knowing the rest will be sufficient. There will be enough for entertainment and popcorn.
Written by Judy & Dick Morris
This series is designed to give RRCB members an opportunity to reflect upon their own generosity to God. In reading their stories, we pray that your own life of generosity is encouraged and challenged as well.