Monday, June 25, 2018

A Prayer for Families

Lord God, you’ve got the whole world in your hands: refugees and citizens; the persecuted the entitled; people of all colors; those living safely in intact families and those torn apart from inside and outside forces.  Bless this broken world, and help us to be blessings to one another – at the borders of our country, in the center of our country, and in every other part of your world, as well.  Amen.

Youth Mission Trip: Think Globally; Act Locally for Christ

Jesus said, "What you have done to the least of my brothers and sisters, you have done to me."

The Youth Mission Trip, Think Globally, Act Locally for Christ, was held from June 18 to June 21. Seven teenagers participated: Elizabeth Boone, Trinity Ellis, Rachel Klinger, Roman Klinger, Susan Sale, Vanessa Smock, and Kenneth Thomsen. There were three adult leaders: Maggie Mahloy, our Youth Minister, Matthew Williamson, our Sexton and the Rev. Lorna Williams. 

We began by serving at THRIVE Peninsula, where we organized the pantry, and stacked plastic bags for clients to use when they receive food items to take home. We also did shredding of old papers and updated the resource folders that clients use to find local and national resources for their specific needs, for example, for assistance for veterans. While we were at THRIVE, we learned some facts about the reality faced by many of our neighbors in our communities, for example, Hampton Roads is third in the whole nation in eviction rates. 

On two separate days we served at the LINK’s warehouse, organizing donated items such as dishes, cutlery, cups, kitchen items, etc. While we were working clients came in and were very pleasantly surprised with items which were easy to find for them to take home.

Then we participated in Serve the City, which is a big volunteer event put on by the City of Newport News. The youth chose to work with refugee children from Afghanistan. Along with other volunteers, we set up coloring materials, and flash cards to help teach the kids English at a park surrounded by apartments where many refugee families live. We also occupied the little ones while their mothers learned English themselves from other adult volunteers. We encouraged the learning of the children and fed them snacks at the end of the day. Maggie and I enjoyed taking turns holding an adorable two month old baby of one of the Afghani women.

The youth, through their service to their local community, walked in the way of the disciples of Jesus when he sent them out to minister to others. And as Jesus commanded us, these young people shared their love for others. We are very thankful to the congregation for making it possible for us to act locally for Christ, making a difference in the lives of our neighbors.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A Prayer for St. Andrew's School Community and Church in this In-Between Time

Dear God, you are our beginning and our end, and you are with us in every beginning and ending. The closing of our school continues to be a source of sadness and challenge for us. We pray for your comfort and healing for all who grieve this ending. We pray for our students, that each one will experience a safe and happy summer and a warm welcome into new schools. We pray for our faculty and staff as they seek new positions. We pray for our school’s administrators as they carry out the business tasks involved in closing a school.
Endings precede beginnings. While we haven’t yet discerned the new beginning that will come from the closing of the school, we trust that you, who make all things new, have something wonderful in store for us and for those whom we will serve in the future. And so we pray also for ourselves, that we may listen well for your voice and be infused with the creativity and energy of your Spirit as we engage in our parish discernment process. 
Thank you for all that has been, God; and thank you for all that will be.  Amen.