Hello. For those of you that do not know me, my name is John Czekaj. I have been attending Morning Star for about two and a half years now. This church came into my life because my other half applied for a job here as the Choir Director. The day he came for his meeting with the Session, I hung out in the Infant and Toddler Room while the meeting went on. Once that meeting was over, I got a chance to meet Myrlene and the Session members who were there at the time. When we left the building that day, I asked Tony how the meeting went and what his impressions of Myrlene and the Session were. He told me he was impressed with everyone and felt he would be a good fit as Choir Director for this church. After he was approved as Choir Director, we began attending worship services. After that first worship experience here, I told Tony that I was glad he got this job, because I think we just found our church home.
We started attending regularly both on Saturday and on Sunday. We talk a lot about being a welcoming church and as new attendees, that welcome was felt in spades. Everyone here made us feel that we belonged here and that maybe this was God telling us that we have a home. This is where I want both of you to bring my mission to the world.
Once we had been attending for a few weeks, I began to think about what I could do to participate in the activities of the church. I began to attend Session meetings as a guest just to find out about them and see if there was a fit for me there. I felt that this might be a good place for me to get involved with the church. I asked about membership and eventually we attended Stargazing 101 and became members. The Holy Spirit was with us as we continued to become more integrated into our new Morning Star family. This was all in the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy – an event none of us will ever forget. What could we do to help our neighbors recover from this unprecedented experience? Along came the PDA . They asked us if we would consider being a housing site for volunteer workers who would come to help rebuild the homes and lives of those affected by the storm. That presentation inspired me to want to get involved and give to this ministry. I felt God touch me and say that I need to be involved in this effort.
In what capacity? My ex-wife used to tell people that I was mechanically declined. I wouldn’t say that exactly, but I am not as adept with tools and construction as I’d like to be. So, maybe my place is in the back office, making sure everyone completes their paperwork, submits their rent, timesheets, and evaluations. I found a home. That effort continues today and each time we have a work team stay with us, I feel the presence of God with them. This also keeps the fire burning inside me to continue on with this ministry and give it my best.
Giving. I like to think that its part of my nature, however Morning Star has magnified that in ways I’ve never experienced before. I’ve been involved in other churches where I have been a member, however here it is different. In those other churches, I got involved to satisfy myself. Here, I get involved, not just for my sake, but for God’s sake. I’ve never said that before, and it is great when you have God working both within and for you
This feeling of giving doesn’t apply just to my time and talent, it also apples to my financial support of the church. Every year, I try and increase my pledge, so that we can continue the ministries that God has given us to do. Morning Star has given me a relationship with God that I never had before. For me, that alone is worth sacrificing some of what I want so that this church can continue. I will be making a partial mortgage payment to Morning Star over above my regular giving. I invite you to show your appreciation and commitment to the community of Morning Star and to the community of Christ and give sacrificially to help keep the good things we have here going, and to help keep the building we love be the house of God and our Lord Jesus Christ.