For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson – Poem of Thanksgiving
-The YMCA Mission-
To put Christian values into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
“that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:21 (Official YMCA Bible verse adopted in 1881 to reflect its mission)
A few days before a recent board meeting with the Coppell Family YMCA I was asked to give what we call a “missional moment”. The missional moment is designed for board members to share how the YMCA has impacted their lives and what impact they have had on or experienced with others. At first I was somewhat at a loss for what I would say and share. I felt my story or impact in my short 4 years of serving would surely pale in comparison with others who have given more time, lended more talent and shared more resources than I could hope to bestow in multiple lifetimes of service.
-My introduction to the Y-
I didn’t grow up in a town with a YMCA. I didn’t know much at all about the YMCA other than what I heard the Village People sing about in their hit song “its fun to stay at the YMCA….” and surely everyone knows the dance that goes along with it. In fact, I didn’t even step foot inside a YMCA until I came to serve on the Board of Management with the Coppell Family YMCA in 2008 when I was 28 years old! I was 28 and the first time I stepped foot inside the YMCA I had no idea what it was all about. Well sure, I could see the gym equipment and I knew it was a Christian based organization but I still had no idea what that combination really meant and or how the Y made their impact on the community. A “Christian gym” I originally thought, must be a super friendly place to workout and you probably wouldn’t have trouble finding someone to explain how a machine worked or getting someone to spot you with the weights. Nevertheless, I started my board service eager to learn about the inner and outer workings of the YMCA, but extremely nervous about the board setting and strange protocols of “motions” “minutes” and “seconds”. Soon enough though I was working my first fundraising campaign and a short time later I was chairing a sub-committee evoking some of those strange protocols of “motions”, “minutes” and “seconds” myself. How far I had come in such a short time:-).
-Interview with my kids-
To get back to my “mission moment”, I had an idea. I would interview my 5-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son and ask them a few questions about the YMCA and get their thoughts from their perspective about the YMCA’s mission. I thought a quick and genuine video from them would be much better than anything I could share. So I came up with 3 questions and we did a practice run and hit record. What they said is all them as I didn’t have a script for them to go by. So I made this video to share at my board meeting but due to a string of technical difficulties the video didn’t play. I found myself standing there in front of the board unprepared to share my missional moment. So I offered verbal gratitude to those in attendance for their service to the YMCA Mission and thanked them for the encouragement and inspiration they have provided for me in my years of service. So I decided to write this blog in part to share the video. You can watch by clicking the link below.
-Thankful for my Y-
In my time with the Coppell Family YMCA, I’ve heard some amazingly heart wrenching stories of overcoming by some truly amazing people. I’ve witnessed first hand the impact that everyday people who volunteer in various capacities along with the local community can have and how it can affect and completely change someone’s life, a family’s life, a mother, father, daughter, son, someone just like myself and my family. Unfortunately we live in a broken world and bad things do happen to good people. Disease, Disability, Natural Disaster, Job Loss, etc is a reality everywhere and not one community on this earth is immune from it. It is here where the rubber meets the road and the Y has its greatest impact on changing lives. If there is a YMCA in your city, check them out and get involved. You will be the one who is better off for it! As part of the Body of Messiah, we are called to be the “hands and feet” of our Master and the YMCA is one way to make His love known and presence felt in a real and tangible way in your city for His Kingdom!
So from my family to yours, we are Thankful for the Y and hope you have a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving 2012!
The Bond Family