By Laura Vaughan, Director of Discipleship
As an adult, wherever I have lived I have always been a member of a church. This is very important to me because by joining I’m making a commitment to continue to grow deeper in my faith and my relationship with God within the context of a community of faith. I take the vows seriously to uphold the church with my prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.
Each morning I begin my day in prayer – communing with God. There are no right words – in fact, many times there are no words – but I’m opening my heart to God and listening. This practice helps me to center myself and to find stillness in the midst of family, work and the everyday busyness of life.
I love the church and have always been drawn to “being there.” When I was a teenager, I would arise early on Sunday morning and drive to the Southern Maid Donuts on Kings Hwy to pick up hot donuts for our youth group. As soon as I arrived at church I would take them downstairs to the basement and then hurry to make it to the 8:30 a.m. service where I would sit on the second row, right up front or in the choir loft with the Celebration Singers eager to hear Dr. Ed Thomas tell his stories about God, love and what it was like to grow up on “that little island on the Chesapeake Bay.”
As I have grown deeper in my faith and study of scripture and wrestled with what it means to “live a life, worthy of the calling,” I am drawn to service. How can I “Love my neighbor?” I have participated in and or led 18 mission trips and have been to places such as Russia, Belize, the Bahamas, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas and even 6 trips to New Orleans to help with recovery from Katrina. I learned so much as we all served together in community.
Moving back to Shreveport, I found ways to give back by serving on the Christian Leadership Center Board, the Faith Works Board, representing BUMC and Red Bird Foundation. I have also served as treasurer and chaplain of my PEO group. I have volunteered at Centenary and led a Temenos group and I am presently a Centenary Muse, helping with their annual Book Bazaar. I have also helped to build a house with the Fuller Center, worked with Common Ground, Highland Blessings Dinner and served as a prayer partner with Kids Hope. There are so many opportunities in Shreveport to share the gifts that God has given us. For the healing of this world, we need to give back.
I am so blessed to be a member of Broadmoor United Methodist Church and to have the opportunity to serve and grow with each of you. Where we place our attention is very important. As we grow in our faith being present, praying and serving with open hearts, our lives will reflect a deeper spirit of generosity and love to our neighbors and ourselves. We are the light for this world! Let your light shine!