Larry Coleman has been the sexton at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, for some 38 years. He was in his early 20s when he came to Briarwood and for years has enabled the ministry of the congregation in many ways. Four years after he started working at Briarwood, he became a bus driver for the Jackson Public Schools. It was then that the damp chill of a Southern winter gave rise to an informal ministry that unfolded in a special way. Coleman noticed some hats and gloves that had been left at church from a project to provide schoolchildren with warm clothing and asked if he could take the hats and gloves along on his bus route. Women in the church began supplying him with more, as well as with knitted scarves, to keep on the bus all winter to distribute as needed.
One child at a time, the gifts warmed the heads, hands and hearts of his young passengers. Coleman insists that the women of the church deserve the credit. “I just took ’em. The ladies did all the work!” he says. But it was Coleman’s compassion and initiative that opened the door. Over the years students boarding his bus for the first time have been heard to say to him, “I know you! You gave my brother a hat!” Jesus urges us to notice the children. Coleman helped Briarwood Church do just that.
Dr. M. Catherine Cook, Parish Associate for Spiritual Formation, Briarwood Presbyterian Church
Today’s Focus: Presbytery of Mississippi
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Holy God, thank you for your grace and mercy offered to us in Jesus Christ. Give us your heart of compassion for others, especially children. May we recognize the resources of time, money, gifting and place with which you entrust us. Let us see opportunity and what our part might be. Enable us to offer who we are and what we have in Jesus’ name. In the name of our Savior, who welcomed little children, we pray. Amen.