Parish News, Church of Saint John the Evangelist
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I’m not theologically trained but I know enough about loving-kindness and faithfulness to know we are exhorted to demonstrate them both. Interestingly, when I searched the meaning of “loving-kindness”, it tells us it means giving oneself fully, with love and compassion.

Recently, several people at St. John's have shown loving-kindness in remarkable ways. In spite of the many waves of COVID-19, some people continue to work as hard as ever, providing for the future in spite of uncertain tomorrows.

Consider this older parishioner.

She is the picture of faithfulness. When she goes shopping for groceries, she remembers to pick up the kind of food items which a food bank, like St. Matthew’s House, collects and distributes to the needy. This happens not only when there’s a food drive going on but regularly, food drive or not. Not only does she collect food but she gives money by using the prepared envelopes issued by St. John’s. When the bag of food grows full, she asks a neighbour to deposit the food and her church donations every month.

This same person has no access to on-line worship or an opportunity to sign up for in-person church (when it is available) since she does not have a cell phone or computer. She finds she misses regular worship with others. However, through the thoughtfulness and caring of Judith Purdell-Lewis, she gets the Parish News regularly in print and stays up to date that way, using the list of readings to do her own devotions. She quietly holds onto the hope of getting back to worship at the early service on Sundays or the mid-week on Wednesdays. Faithfully and without complaint, she carries on.

I wonder how many, with online access, are managing to practice such loving-kindness and faithfulness? Similarly, there are people who brighten the world by regularly reaching out to those who are isolated or alone. Their deep compassion and faith seems to drive them.

One person routinely practices faithfulness and brightens the world. Every week she telephones or emails the families and individuals in our parish because their name is mentioned during the Prayers of the People. With a cheery voice and an upbeat message, she chats and visits with those who answer her directly. If there is no answer, she leaves a positive message. Sometimes, it’s an email she has to send because the phone number doesn’t connect. Occasionally she will get a ‘thanks for making contact’ but that doesn’t deter her. Week by week, she greets and reaches out.  She says she generally gets good responses and that alone encourages her to keep on doing the weekly calls.

Then there are the several other people at St. John’s who routinely check in on other folk with a friendly telephone call. These callers are the just like the others mentioned above, brightening the world through their loving-kindness.

Their actions are making a huge difference and offer a better tomorrow. For such kinds of people, I thank God for such people and pray that you will, too. 

Susan Little