Written by Cheryl Major Brandon

I have been called a “Professional Student” by friends who have known me for many years. It is  because I truly enjoy learning and meeting new people.  The knowledge and blessing I received through the Congregational Care Lay Ministry (CCLM) Training at First United Methodist Church was more than just an expansion of my intellect.  After reading the invitation to participate in the training to serve as a CCLM, I had no doubt that I wanted to serve the Lord Jesus in this area.  

The Bible says in Matthew 25: 34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.”

God impressed upon me that I could serve in this area and that it would be a good fit at this time in my life. I want the King to say to me on that day that I did indeed visit Him and ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father!’  It is a privilege to serve in the Kingdom of God: the joy of visiting with ladies who love the Lord, who enjoy talking about the Lord, joyful family and current events; praying with and serving Communion; and yes, sometimes discussing and praying about personal concerns.

This probably brings more joy to my heart than their hearts. The ladies I visit with have made great adjustments and transitions from their former lives, yet they glow with the love of Jesus and gratitude in their hearts.

Finally, our CCLM group desired to begin a covenant group, and it is so inspiring. We meet together, pray together, share examples of our lives together, learn together, and will continue to do so.  God is healing my life in many areas.  FUMC has affirmed the Lay Minister’s calling to share the love of Jesus Christ in the world–that comforts my soul. When Pastor Becky said, “You all will be the face of the Church,” I could feel the presence of God. “Yes, Jesus loves me” as the song goes; and Jesus is using me along with my CCLM brothers and sisters in Christ to be His hands and feet and to share His unconditional love to those who cannot come to services as easily as they once did.