Faith Stories: “A Surprise Ending”


Cars lined both sides of the street, and I felt content as I meandered through the crowds gathered for Nativity’s annual Trunk or Treat event—that is, until she pulled up.

As she got out of the car, I could tell she was a woman on a mission, and I could tell the mission had to do with me. As she approached, I could see her face and body posture were intense, and I braced myself for what might come.

“Are you the pastor here?” she asked.

Although the thought of saying no crossed my mind, I answered, “Yes, I am.”

She introduced herself and pointed to where she lived on Belden Drive. Apparently, someone had misjudged their parking and had partially blocked her driveway, preventing her entering with her own car.

I apologized and was about to offer to find the owner when she asked, “What is going on here, and how long is this going to last?”

“We’ll be done by 5:00,” I explained. “As a faith community, Nativity strives to be a good neighbor. Trunk or Treat is about bringing the community together with a chance to be playful, breaking down walls and helping neighbor to know neighbor.” With a smile, I teased, “See, it’s working. I haven’t met you before.”

Her face softened a bit.

“Would you like me to see if I can find the owner and ask them to move their car?”

“No, not necessary,” she replied. “What you’re doing here is more important than me getting into my driveway. I grew up in the church but haven’t been to service in years. The church I grew up in focused on the people who were part of the church, not doing something nice for the neighborhood like this. Seeing neighbors coming together and hearing the laughter of the kids is so refreshing. Thank you.”

As she walked away, I thought to myself, “Wow, that was a surprise ending….”

Trunk or Treat is about loving God and loving neighbor. It may seem insignificant, but people experiencing a loving God as part of a loving community brings joy. And heartfelt joy is never without impact.

In 2023, the people of Nativity committed its staff, its people, and its resources to Love God and Love Neighbor. As a spiritual community, we move our faith into action and our love into practice through our commitment to love our neighbors.

Your giving provides the resources to love our neighbors.

I invite you to consider giving to the work of God at Nativity, to continue this important commitment. Giving is a faith habit that helps clarify values and set priorities, especially when we plan annual giving. To help in doing this, you can go to and click on Statement of Intent. Or you can fill out the back side of this sheet in your News to Note. Here you will be asked how much you would like to give and how often.

Please complete your Statement of Intent or your automated giving on or before Sunday, December 17, 2023.

Thank you for your generosity.

In Faith,
Pastor Glenn