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Throughout the month of October, local church ministers were given special recognition from their parishioners. NewsNuggets received reports from four churches – Colorado Springs Central, Greeley, Elm Haven, and Boulder – with examples of how pastors were celebrated by their church members.
On the evening of October 1, Pastor Jason Logan of the Greeley and Elm Haven congregations received an unexpected knock on his door. When he opened the door, nobody was there, but a gift had been left on his doorstep. It was a knickknack that said “Yay” and taped to the front was a handwritten note that read, “Yay, you’re our pastor.” That was just the beginning.
Every day during the month of October, Pastor Jason received a gift at his front door. If a day was missed, two were delivered the next day. The month of October is recognized as pastor appreciation month and it has been a special one for the Logan family. The gifts have been fun with very clever sayings attached. Some of the gifts have been silly, some have been useful, and some have been yummy, comments Grace Logan, pastor’s wife.
The whole family has enjoyed trying to catch the culprits. Not only have they received gifts at their doorstep, but they’ve also been given cards and gifts from members throughout the month. The last Sabbath of October, the Greeley church recognized them from up front with a card stuffed with handwritten notes from their members.
“The gifts have been a blessing,” said Grace, “but even more special have been the words of encouragement that we’ve received. Sometimes you feel like you’re not making a difference, but to read all those loving and supportive words gives you fortitude and strength to keep going.”
Commenting on the experience, Jason Logan said, “The Greeley Church made this past month a very memorable one. It was fun for the whole family to never know when the next gift was coming and to speculate who might be bringing it. They have definitely made us feel very appreciated and loved.”
Following an October 14 Appreciation Dinner at the Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in Colorado Springs, Mike Maldonado, his wife Brenda, and son, Elijah wrote in an email to their church family.
“The love and appreciation showed us by the church family was over the top! Never has a pastoral couple felt more loved,” commented Mike Maldonado.
"How can we possibly say ‘Thank You!’ adequately enough, or reciprocate your loving acts of kindness and service towards us, including Elijah? We are overwhelmed by your love and goodness to us and we praise God for His many blessings through each and every one of you. We are humbled and blessed by the beautiful flowers (that continue to be beautiful even a week later), by the generous gift from the church/church board ... as well as numerous gift cards, baskets of fruit and monetary gifts by so many church members. It is truly overwhelming to feel so much love and appreciation by so many!,” the Maldonado Family wrote.
From Boulder Church comes another report. Master carpenter Phil Smith and his trusty sidekick Diane Johnson dropped by the the home of Pastor Japhet de Oliveira on Wednesday, October 31, to install a gorgeous, custom-built medicine cabinet in honor of Pastor Appreciation Month. The De Oliveiras, who until now have lived in a medicine-cabinetless house, were delighted by the beauty and functionality of the gift. The cabinet includes four adjustable shelves.
Mickey Mallory, RMC ministerial director, commented, "With the many challenges pastors and their families face these days, it means a lot when church members show appreciation. By doing so, they give a boost to their pastor."
-- RMCNews with Mickey Mallory; photos by Grace Logan and Marcia Armstead