For several months now, St. Paul's has been donating purified bottled water to the tennis players and pros at the James B. Edwards Park tennis courts. "We started this ministry because we wanted to let people in the community know that we were here and that we cared. The best way to show people you care is to do something for them. The water bottle ministry is easy, but it's tangible and has already made a relational impact," said Pastor Aaron DeBenedetto. Pastor Aaron, who has been the one to deliver the water, said that every single time, he has a meaningful interaction with the people at the courts. From the tennis pros to their students to children to moms waiting for their children to finish practice, God has provided a connection every single time. Pastor Aaron adds, "It's amazing how God works. He gives us nudges about ways to build relationships and connections; if we follow those nudges, things begin to happen, awareness grows, and people know that God is active in their community and lives. This, all through water bottles!"
The St. Paul's congregation is encouraged to bring in cases of purified water bottles. The adult Bible Study class then puts on little labels that tell people who the bottles are from. Finally, praying over the bottles, the class, and Pastor Aaron, hand them over to be instruments of God's Good News that God loves all people through Jesus Christ. "It's the little things that matter and impact people," Pastor Aaron stated. "We're making a difference and, most importantly, getting to know our community so we can serve them better."
An exciting update happened on Tuesday, June 21, 2020. A cooler showed up! Apparently, Someone in the community donated a cooler for the water bottles. Pastor Aaron had been putting the bottles in white baskets, but someone must have thought they would stay out of the sun if they were in a cooler. What a great example of how one generous action inspires another.