August 13, 2019 - Maryellen Schutz
Working in a church bookstore is not the kind of ministry where one would expect to experience those heartwarming and rewarding moments you would by feeding the hungry or teaching Sunday school. Occasionally, something interesting would happen. Before I started working there, Shirley Temple’s autographed biography ended up in our used book section. But nothing exciting like that happened when I was there. Over the past twelve years of service at PCUMC bookstore, I never expected that I would have one of those “heartwarming” moments like I did recently.
When the bookstore first opened, we sold Christian books, Bibles, and greeting cards. The fundraising Scrip cards (gift cards) were later added. After a few years, our little bookstore became more of a place where people could pick up gift cards which support the church and greeting cards for special occasions. Though we no longer sell books, I look forward to the people who stop by the store to pick up an item or just to chat each week.
A few years ago, I was saddened when the book store was closed to make room for something else. My little ministry was moved to the Fellowship Hall, and it was just not the same.
Eventually, a compromise was made for sharing the space, and I was able to return to my little store where I could resume my services. Our greeting card sales have always been slow, and recently I thought that if we could make them more visible to the congregation passing by on their way to and from church, maybe they would be noticed.
Pastor Tom agreed we should move the cards outside the bookstore. And then it happened. A young confirmand took notice and inquired about the price of the cards.
“How much are the cards?” he asked cheerfully.
“A dollar each,” I said.
He handed me a five-dollar bill, and as I went to make the change, he told me to keep the change as a donation to the church.
His card selection, a “Thank You” card, and then told me it was to thank his parents for bringing him to the confirmation classes at PCUMC. What a nice gesture for such a young man. The boy’s kind gesture brought a lump to my throat and warmth to my heart.
All that day and even now, this boy’s action gave meaning to what it means to be confirmed as a Christian. You don’t see acts of kindness such as this very often. Not only was I blessed by it, but I hope that you will be also.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”. -Luke 6:38
Choose from hundreds of your favorite stores to give the perfect gift for graduation and celebrations this year! Amazon gift cards are a favorite amongst teens! Do your grocery shopping and support the church at the same time. Just pick up a gift card, and the proceeds benefit the church. Choose in amounts from $10-$100
Greeting cards sales benefit our children’s ministries and cost only $1. Such an easy and convenient way to find that perfect gift and card all in one stop at PCUMC.
Maryellen will be happy to assist you before and after church service hours in the former bookstore off the Fellowship Hall.