closeup of a stone carving on Wesley's building reading "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart"

Good morning, my name is Scott Lux, and I am here this morning to share with you why I support Wesley. The last couple years, I have shared in a similar setting, and I have described Wesley as a place that is very authentic. This is particularly noticeable with how the pastors and members are very open to the idea of having struggles with our relationship with God. Like wrestling, and real ups and downs, similar to what we may have in relationships with close friends and family. Struggles for many like what it really means to forgive and how difficult it may be, or even not giving as much with our time and money as we could. I love how people are truly themselves when they come here, flaws and all, not afraid to have their struggles exposed. This authenticity is what drives me personally to support Wesley in the first place. The best way I think that I can describe the feeling when I have given back Wesley is in comparison to a particular experience I’ve recently had in my life. Specifically, this has been through a service called Meal Train, which a lot of people use to provide meals to a family that has just had a baby. Emily and I reaped the benefits of Meal Train when we had our son Noah in December 2014. Emily’s pregnancy was better than we had actually anticipated and she was as cute and bubbly as ever, but her delivery in the hospital made up for it, as she had to have an emergency C-section, and she had complications afterwards leading to a 5-night stay in the hospital and some severe postpartum depression. Being an engineer and a very analytical person, I approach every situation in a problem solving manner, but I felt pretty helpless particularly in helping Emily through her postpartum depression. There was very little I could actually control except be patient, and supporting Emily through her various support groups; and clean all the bottles and change all of the diapers I could. Shortly after Noah was born, it was this church that provided such unrelenting support to us, with the Brian and Elizabeth Sullivan organizing the Meal Train, and so many members bringing meals to us during that timeframe. All of the meals that people brought made the adjustment to life as first-time parents easier, particularly during the winter months, because we rarely had to make trips to the grocery store and plan our meals. As we were going throughout our day, the knowledge that we had lunch leftovers or a new dinner coming helped me through the fog of sleep deprivation and diaper changes, not to mention the companionship of people sharing their own parenting experiences when they came over to visit. There was also something about having food that I normally wouldn’t take the time to make for myself, like homemade pizza and lasagna, Korean BBQ, and jambalaya, that just tastes so incredible. Now, almost three years later, as we have pushed through the challenges of raising our own infant, we make sure to give back to other parents of newborns. To us, the experience of giving back is enjoyable. It’s not hard for us to make some extra food to bring over to new parents, but knowing the positive impact it can have, and how gracious and appreciative the recipients are makes is that much more rewarding. To bring my story full circle, the feelings are similar when I have served in other capacities at Wesley as well. Whether it has been for cleaning, painting, or helping replace light fixtures, I know that my I am serving God righteously because of all of the good that Wesley represents. To me, changing a few light bulbs is not a huge deal, but the feedback of appreciation is overwhelmingly positive, which in my mind, is kind of like bringing new parents a big ole’ pot of jambalaya. And that is why I support and give back to Wesley. Thank you!