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When is credit due?

Thirty plus years ago at a planning conference with my company the following quote was on the wall of the room where we were meeting. "A group of people working together can accomplish almost anything as long as no one cares who gets credit for it." (No credit was given to the writer.)

However, I found the following two quotes attributed to two of our past U.S. presidents...

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."

--Harry Truman

"There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit." --Ronald Regan

These quotes are similar and have stuck with me over the years as I have been part of many organizations, that when they apply the principle espoused in each of the statements, have done good things.

I am personally very proud that for the most part, the congregation and the leaders of our church seem to believe in this principle. FPCV is doing lots of good things... just look at what was on display a few weeks ago at the "service fair" held in our Fellowship Hall or read closely our monthly newsletter TIDINGS which is full of good things being done by and within this congregation. The work of our teams and various groups are not just 'activities,' but activities that accomplish good things. It doesn't just happen. It takes commitment, dedication and a selflessness that comes when serving others.

Christians are called upon to put their faith into action. Christianity is not a spectator group, it requires that we do what we can, when we can to help our fellow humans. The recent weather-related disasters have resulted in the need for Christians to act in helping those negatively impacted by those events. This congregation and our Presbyterian denomination has and is responding in terms of financial support and hands-on assistance. The future may well require us to do even more if we are to live out our faith and meet our responsibilities to others, those inside our country and those elsewhere who are also imperiled by these and other events.

If we don't concern ourselves with getting 'credit' for the good things we do for others, we will be able to know, in our hearts, that we are meeting our obligation as Christians. Look first within yourself and decide what you are capable of doing... then act! Working together makes any task easier and multiplies the positive impact beyond what we can do individually.

For me, First Presbyterian of Valparaiso is a great place to be with those who care about and act to help others. We don't seek the credit and we don't keep score. I like that about us and hope we never clamor for credit for what we do for others.

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