Today I met Mary

I want to share a story with you. Today, I prayed with Mary. She had never been to Ironbridge Church – until today. She walked in looking for help – looking for hope. Why Ironbridge? Then it hit me, I met her months ago at the Chester eld Food Bank. She serves there. In spite of the dif culties invading her personal life, she wants to make a difference, so she serves others by volunteering. When Mary walked in our church, she didn’t remember my name. She only remembered the name of the church & that we did something with cars to help people. She talked. I listened. We prayed. Then she left. She has been on my mind the rest of the day.

Isn’t that what Ironbridge Church is all about? A safe place where anyone can come looking for peace?

According to Mary, 2017 was a terrible year, catastrophic in more ways than one. She hopes 2018 brings fresh opportuni- ties, renewed health and energy, and positive developments in her life. But more than anything, if she could know, in some small way, that God is with her and that He cares about her…that would be enough.

Isn’t that what Ironbridge Church is all about? A safe place where anyone can come searching for hope?

Mary didn’t ask for money or any assistance. She came for…well, you already know, hope & peace. She left knowing some things she didn’t know when she came in. Mary left knowing that God loves her. She left now knowing that you love her, too, even though you have probably never met her. And she left knowing, without a doubt, that God has not forgotten about her. Mary left with tears in her eyes. But she also left with a new understanding of the hope and peace that surpasses all under- standing – the kind that only comes from Jesus.

Isn’t that what Ironbridge Church is all about?

At Ironbridge, 2017 was a year full of experiencing life together. We celebrated weddings and funerals. (Yes, we celebrated life at funerals). We rejoiced with people as they made eternity altering decisions to follow Jesus and to be baptized. We mourned together and cried together. Our students began a brand-new thing…the Sunday night Coffee House. The Grinch came to teach the children on Christmas Eve. We served about 20,000 cups of coffee and about 15,000 donuts. We wor- shiped together, we prayed together. We marveled together on Easter morning as we read about the empty tomb. We heard the gospel presented with grace and truth. We gave away turkeys on Thanksgiving. We served with our ministry partners to help meet the needs of our community. We Loved Chester eld! We loved our nation by supporting and traveling to areas hit the hardest during the hurricane season. We even loved the world through the Costa Rica mission.

Isn’t that what Ironbridge Church is all about?

In the gospel according to Matthew, a religious person asked Jesus what was THE most important law to be followed. In essence, Jesus said, THE most important thing is really two most important things because you can’t do one well without also doing the other…Love God and love one another.

Isn’t that what Ironbridge Church is all about? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes and Yes.

And YOU helped make it so. Thank you for your generosity in 2017. In more ways than you know, you are making a dif- ference…in our church, in our community and around the world. Thank you for loving Mary, the lady I met today that you probably never will. God could have chosen any number of ways to fund His mission, but He chose to rely on the generosity of those who love Him. On behalf of every person who comes here searching, hoping, wondering if God is real, and, on behalf of every person who calls Ironbridge Church home, thank you! When you serve here – it matters. When you give here – it matters. You-Are-Making-A-Difference. Just ask Mary, she’ll tell you ‘That’s what Ironbridge Church is all about’.

It is a great privilege and blessing to be able to serve you and serve alongside you. On behalf of Dr. Mark Jordan and our entire staff, all God’s best to you and your family for 2018!   Executive Pastor Dennis Green