Last week I received the sad news that my grandmother passed away. The phone rang at 10:15 in the evening and I knew that we were about to receive sad news. I loved my grandmother very much as a child. We called her Grandma Ginny and loved our visits to her house. She would make special treats for us to eat and she had a wonderful dog. (Several over the years, and always miniature poodles.) When I visited Grandma Ginny, the best part was that I felt so truly loved.
Over the past week I have received numerous cards, emails and calls of condolence from the people of St. Dunstan’s Church. I know now from personal experience just how compassionate a community we have. We want to care for each other. We want to support each other in times of love. I received cards from people I have consoled and prayed with at the times of their own losses.
Early this week we all learned that the son of a member of our community was being rushed from Alaska to Bellingham after suffering a serious heart attack. Dixie sent out information about this crisis with a request for prayer. Dixie told me she got so many calls asking her to pass on their prayers that she was almost late for services on Wednesday.
On Sunday we blessed more prayer shawls. I was moved to see all of you touching the prayer shawls as you came forward for communion. We have already delivered most of the shawls we blessed. This is such a wonderful way to express God’s love for those in need.
We want to care for one another. We want to walk in Christ’s love together. We want to share in the generous, forgiving Spirit of God. Earlier today I met with Dennis Beals about our new Care Teams program. Dennis will be the leader of this program with support from Karen Tynes and Rica O’Connor and we were planning the next steps.
Starting the second Sunday in Lent there will be a table with signup sheets to join the Care Teams program. As a member of a Care team you will receive a weekly email detailing the prayer and caring needs of our congregation and friends. When your team is on duty you are invited to respond with prayers, cards, visits, meals, or maybe a ride. These are the things we are already doing for one another, as we have seen in this past week. The Care Teams program will support our desire to care for those in need.
I encourage you to sign up to be on a Care Team. You can do this whether you have a computer or not. There is only one meeting a year, and then you will get weekly updates on the needs of our parish and our friends. We will have a short orientation and training on April 30th, and that’s it. This is another wonderful way we can come together in community to walk in Christ’s love and forgiveness.
Your brother in Christ,
The Rev. David Marshall