One of the core values of GPPC is “learning from and caring for our church community”.
About 30 years ago I was a member of this church for the first time. We had a Spring Retreat and were asked to draw the part of the body of Christ that best represented us. Now, there were a lot of choir members there – but practically everyone drew a mouth! After we had a good laugh, this exercise gave us pause to reflect on who was doing the work of the church: who were the hands and feet of Christ?
But then, 28 years ago, I had serious breast cancer and entered an eight-month maelstrom of surgeries and chemotherapy. During this challenging time, Ginter Park Church prayed for me, and asked others around the country to pray for me. They fed my family. They took me to chemotherapy, and made sure my children were cared for. My son never missed a soccer practice.
I know in the deepest part of my heart that the love of God expressed in the hands and feet and, yes – the mouths of the Christians here helped save my life. I learned so much about the healing power of Christ from this community. I am so blessed to be back at Ginter Park a second time, and I support this church because I see that this congregation is still living out this holy value.
Learning from and caring for one another is still alive and well in this place.
Ann Hamric offers the second in our summer series of reflections from our elders in training, who will begin their Session service in the fall. She says “I was a member of GPPC in the 1980s and 90s, and rejoined after returning to Richmond in 2011, so I think of myself as an ‘old new’ member. I live in a wonderful little old yellow house a few blocks from the church. I am a professor and associate dean at the VCU School of Nursing and have had a privileged career as a nurse in many different roles. I have two children who grew up in this church and two adorable grandsons.”