Wednesday, May 21, 2008

An "A" for effort...

At the 8 AM Eucharist this morning, the Gospel story was Jesus' speaking about loving your enemy, turning the other cheek and giving up your cloak as well when you are sued for your coat. "What credit is that to you when you love those who love you? I tell you, love those who oppose you."

One person talked about how they had just experienced conflict with a friend...and chose to not continue that argument, but to simply release the disagreement to God and maintain respect and care toward their friend. Another said, "I feel like this is the time when we get an 'A' for effort. We can't always love our neighbors well...or to Jesus' standards...but we can try."

I have seen a day in which two missives crossed my desk that bear witness to the love of Christ made manifest in the world...and I give thanks for both. Even as we have seen conflict in the world, in the Diocese and in this parish, I have also seen incredible willingness among many to forbear attachment to anger, or fear or conflict in favor of peace, hope, love and service. Here are those two epistles of faith:

Rev. Shelly,

Greetings from Kenya! Although only here two days I am already feeling at home. The people are very warm and receptive, and the food is excellent. Today we finished shopping for supplies to bring and distribute amongst several IDP camps. Thank you again for your contribution and to Jean Evans and the Outreach commitee for theirs. I hope we can make a difference to the people of these camps as they continue to stuggle with the loss of their homes and families. The good news is that many of these camps are being disbanded and life seems to be returning to normal for many of those effected by the recent social unrest; however, the need for supplies continues. As I said to you the day we left, I have a feeling that I will want to spend more time here, or for that matter, anywhere there is a need for help. As human beings, we are all part of humanity. Humanity, is too big, too vast and varied to be centered around one person. I can think of no better way to live than to help those in need, and I want to thank all of the people who have contributed support in all manners of the word. Take care and I will write with more updates soon.

Chris Martini

Dear Father Shelly,

Thank you for keeping Seamen's Church Institute in the hearts and minds of your congregation. Gail and Jerry have helped us re-stock our almost empty free clothing room for the seafarers with your parishioners' kindness and leftovers from your "attic sale." We are currently blessed with the needs of 14 seafarers who are being held as witnesses by our Dept. of Justice. So, your bounty helps us share with these brave men who cannot go home for 9 or 10 months. Thanks again and please know how much we value your friendship.

Ronnie, director of development

God bless the gift of giving and time...

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