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Good Morning MVC - May 7th

by Sarah Goodale on May 7, 2020

Good morning MVC! 

We are celebrating a lot of things this week as it is nurse and teacher appreciation week and Mother’s day is also this Sunday. With all of this falling on the same week, it has made me think a lot about the women who have taught and cared for me and the legacy of faith that is part of all our stories. 

One of my favorite classes so far in seminary has been my History of American Christianity class. I loved learning about how faith was shaped in our country and was encouraged by how many women were part of shaping that faith. As we celebrate teachers and caregivers this week I would love to share the story of Catherine Ferguson. 

Catherine Ferguson was born into slavery in 1779, her mother was sold when she was 8 years old and she never saw her again. When Catherine was about 14 she became a Christian and around that same time a woman bought and freed her. Catherine joined the Murray Street (Presbyterian) Church in New York. Catherine made her living by baking but had a gift for memorizing and teaching scripture. In 1793 she opened a Sabbath School for poor children in New York. The congregation Catherine was a part of complained to their pastor and his son, Dr. Mason, that she was working on the sabbath. Dr. Mason went to her home with the intention to rebuke her but seeing the impact and importance of what she was doing instead invited her to teach her school at the church. This is the first recorded official Sunday School. 

How amazing is it that Catherine Ferguson’s legacy is a part of all of our stories as Presbyterians? Catherine saw a need and used what she had to care for and teach the next generation. In my own life I have a legacy of faith, my grandmother became a Christian and was an active member of her Missions Board and was the Director of the Children’s Ministry at her church. My mother was the Children’s Ministry Director at my own church growing up and now I find myself as well, working at a church and investing in the next generation. 

As we approach Mother’s Day I just want to celebrate and encourage all the ladies who are out there seeing and meeting needs and investing in the next generation. You have no idea the impact that you will have on generations to come. Thank you for investing and caring for others! I feel so incredibly blessed to know so many amazing women in our church family that inspire me. 

I encourage you, church family, to take some time this week to encourage a woman in your life who has invested and cared for you. They may need those words of encouragement more than ever right now. I love you church family and I am looking forward to Sunday.