My husband, Jake, and I, along with our three children, welcomed our newest addition, Elizabeth, to the family this spring. Shortly thereafter, we received a small package in the mail from St. Luke’s. The sweet gift inside was so touching – a soft, pink, silky lovey made just for her, embroidered with “St. Luke’s UMC.”

While it’s true that by your fourth child you probably have all the “stuff” you need, it’s so meaningful for Elizabeth to have a few things that were given just for her and will be a keepsake that she (and I!) will tenderly love. This precious gift was such an example of the grace-filled love poured into our family by St. Luke’s at the time of her arrival. From a seemingly endless Meal Train by my Bible study, to pastoral care, our faith community rallied around us in a solid way. No one made us feel as if this fourth baby was any less special than any others.

What can we learn from that? If the church is an extension of Jesus here on earth, and called to love like He did, isn’t that what He would do? Make each child of God know they are loved and special, from the very beginning. Love them and comfort them and provide for them.

When we baptize Elizabeth at The Story this summer, the congregation will affirm their faith and support her as a sister in Christ. It will be beautiful and will move me to tears, and I’ll know not only that she has been blessed with the “prevenient grace” Dr. Pace mentions when he performs a baptism, but that even in a large church, she has been singled out and surrounded by love since her birth. Our family thanks all those givers of love – especially the dear angels in the Lovey Ministry for serving their faith community with just the type of love Jesus intended.

The Lovey Ministry is looking for volunteers to welcome babies into St. Luke’s by helping sew baby blankets! If you are interested, contact Paige Farrow at [email protected]