From the Ground Up

We are happy to launch a summer blogging series featuring our elders-elect – church officers from our congregation currently in study and training to join our governing body, the Session, this fall. Thanks to Sally Molenkamp for this opening reflection.

I have spent a fair amount of time this week chewing on Carla’s sermon of last Sunday dealing with the parable of the sower.  Now, this is a story I have heard many times since I was a child.  But this time a whole new way of looking at it was opened up to me.  God does work in mysterious ways…God spoke differently or I listened differently, or both.  What changed for me was my perspective as to where I fit into the parable…that I am the ground into which God is sowing the Word.


I know, without a doubt, that at various times in my life I have been stony, thorny and barren within…resisting…not allowing God’s love to bloom fully and abundantly.  But, I have found GPPC to be a place which nurtures my soul.  I am fed in many small ways by the caring people, from the wee ones to the elderly, of this congregation.  In word, deed and example, there are so many people who inspire me.  And, perhaps the most awesome part is that they don’t know they are doing it.  They are just humbly living their good lives.


One example of this (among many that have touched me) is all the good folk who work at our growing relationship with the people living in the neighborhood that surrounds us.  This week as I worked in our Community Garden I was greeted by and chatted with several neighbors who were walking by on Chamberlayne Ave.  Some were wondering if anything was ready to be picked, one woman wanted to know if she could bring some plants to add to the garden, and one man wanted to come in and help me weed.  It occurred to me that our little plot of fertile ground is allowing God, through us, to figuratively sow seeds as well as to literally plant them .  Once again, my soul was fed.


Sally Molenkamp is one of two incoming elders who have joined our church for a second time after some years away from the area. She and Jack raised their now-adult children at GPPC, during which time Sally was the Lower School Librarian for Saint Catherine’s School. More recently, she worked as a docent for The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Sally wrote this piece in the midst of preparing for an intra-neighborhood move (“It’s only five blocks but we still have to pack!”).

3601 Seminary Avenue, Richmond, VA 23227

(804) 359-5049, ginterparkpc@gmail.com