June 4, 2017
As a high school student, Lily Jones had a beautiful 18-month-old daughter and a strong desire to finish school. Lily knew the importance of education to her future and that of her daughter Sophia, but day care posed a problem.
Family had been caring for Sophia, but they could no longer provide the care she needed. In Ligonier, Indiana, a town with a population of 4,400, child care choices are limited, particularly for those in challenging financial circumstances.
Fortunately, Lighthouse Ministry Daycare, a provider housed in and supported by Ligonier Presbyterian Church, had a spot for Sophia. Parents like Lily and children like Sophia are Lighthouse’s top concerns.
“Our priority is to provide child care so teen parents can get through high school,” said Rachel Bales-Case, Lighthouse’s director. Sophia and most of her 20 classmates at Lighthouse receive care at a reduced cost. Lighthouse serves not only children whose parents are students, but also a number of children whose parents work at low-wage jobs.
The Pentecost Offering that Ligonier Presbyterian receives each year helps fund Lighthouse. This Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) churchwide offering serves youth, young adults and at-risk children. Congregations retain 40 percent of the Offering for local causes, while 60 percent is sent to the national church to support Young Adult Volunteers, ministries with youth and work on behalf of children at risk.
Thanks in part to the generosity of Ligonier Presbyterian and other local supporters, the future looks bright for Sophia and Lily. Sophia is now 4 and is flourishing in the preschool curriculum that Lighthouse teaches. Lily is enrolled in college studying to be a teacher. She works at her old high school as an assistant for special-needs students and has two other part-time jobs. She is also a board member at Lighthouse.
Without Lighthouse, finishing high school would have been challenging for Lily, and college likely would have been unthinkable. She is grateful for the opportunities she has received and for a safe and nurturing place for Sophia to stay during the day.
“You know and trust the people there at the church,” she said.
John Lersch, pastor of Ligonier Presbyterian, considers Lighthouse a ministry of the church, and he notes that the congregation’s support of Lighthouse, which started in 2008, is indicative of its concern for others.
“In this church, the people have good hearts,” he said. “It is not just about ourselves. It’s about others. That is the sign of a healthy church.”
Ligonier Presbyterian’s Pentecost Offering is another example of its good-heartedness. That compassionate spirit is embodied by thousands of Pentecost Offering supporters across the country. Your gift combined with others will help transform the lives of children, youth and young adults.
Pat Cole, Communications Specialist, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Pentecost Offering
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
Caring God, we pray for teen mothers and for their children. Grant them determination and support for continuing education and pursuing lives of hope. Help us reach out to them and extend the embrace of your loving arms. Amen.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, June 4, 2017, the Day of Pentecost (Year A)
First Reading Acts 2:1-21
Or alternate First Reading Numbers 11:24-30
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
Or alternate Second Reading Acts 2:1-21
Gospel John 20:19-23
Or alternate Gospel John 7:37-39