When you serve as pastor of a church that worshipped an average of 30 people when you started ministry back in 2011, when conversations over closure were very relevant, you can forgive me for watching the numbers is the subsequent years of redevelopment. One little fact I love about Redeemer’s story in the last decade is this: our highest attendance for a worship service was not Christmas or Easter! Our biggest services where days when the children of a certain extended family were baptized: the Tesfai family. Brother and sister, now in their 30s and each with their own spouses and children, are part of a bountiful network of people who show up for baptisms! On those Sundays, the congregation never looked so beautiful--dressed in the colorful garb of their homeland, they packed the pews. Add to that sight the smells emanating from the kitchen below--a feast for everyone with the authentic dishes and homemade honey mead--fantastic occasions--some of my favorite Redeemer Memories. We worship a God of Abundance at Redeemer and the Tesfai family baptisms made that abundantly clear. I’ve asked Solomon Tesfai, the father of twin daughters baptized here, to come by and share his perspective on a very full life.
Solomon serves as treasurer of Redeemer and so has his finger on the pulse of this scrappy congregation’s financial picture. We have a huge challenge before us--to renovate and restore our physical structure so it can face up to the rigors of ministry in decades to come. In my mind, Solomon approaches all of life--faith, family, finances--from place of realistic optimism. Abundance and bounty where others might lean into scarcity, lack, impossibility instead. Since so many good things emanate from baptism, I asked him to join me for this podcast: “Bountifully Baptized.”