Last week that phase stuck in my head. If our church, St. Michael's, were to close, would we be missed in our community? That question was posed to us recently for contemplation.
That is a heavy statement which one has to ponder a bit. The priest would be missed as he is socially engaged through out the community. Speaking of community, today when I went to the hospital for routine test, the answer came to me in an unusual way. The minute I stepped up to the counter, Mary (written on her name tag), said "are you the one who helps out at the Community Meal?" She didn't look like any of the elderly ladies I had already met, then she added that she missed going, being unable to attend the free meal, the last two times.
She continued by saying that Father Peter was a good cook and that all the people look forward to going for social reasons and how wonderful it is to be an active part in serving the greater community. She mentioned that everyone is talking "positive about our church," hall and people who serve. Mostly, they love our priest, who she mentioned first.
I added that we were making plans to do more, and that we enjoy every minute of it. She added that it is hard work and allot of peeling, and I agreed. I have an invitation to theirs coming up, which will be this time, beef stew. Ours, turkey and the fixings. Life is good. And, yes, if you want your church community to grow, you have to work at it, planting flowers, and seeds. But mostly, it is the little touches that people remember, like your smile and your taking a moment to listen to them, because they are important.
St. Michael's Church does much for our community, by way of it's events, services and it puts smiles on people's faces. We would be missed. We simply do what we can, and that's all we can do. Small parishes can and do accomplish great things for our community! The key is to reach out, and in Mary's words learn, "how can we serve you?"
Because, we are all needy in one way or another and as the bible tells us, (Orthodox Study Bible}--James 2:26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
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