Spring has sprung and so has Outreach! Our busy bees have worked hard this past month to clean and prepare our church for Holy Week and Easter. A special shout out to the Campagna ladies for all their hard work! We cleaned the Narthex, hallways, and pews, and tidied up our Outreach room. What better time to declutter than the season of Lent?
Outside the church you will see our renovated garden, with new lumber beds laid and cleaned. Thank you, Jeff Herrera, for all your hard work in the garden. Produce from our harvest supports local food drives and we are excited to see new crops this fall.
Baskets for our ongoing partner collections - The Clinic in Phoenixville, and the Coventry Food Pantry - were again filled with donations. These items were successfully dropped off; our baskets are poised by the office entrance and ready for more!
The Atkinson Men's Shelter received another hot meal thanks to our dedicated drivers and volunteer cooks. Now, more than ever, our neighbors need our consideration and nourishment. The Atkinson cause has been a stable and noble outreach effort that has stood the test of time. I smile every time I see another meal sustain the men who depend on St. Andrew's.
In the Spirit of Easter, 10 additional full course meals were delivered to the Bridge of Hope/ Good Samaritan Organization. The families were so grateful to receive a fresh holiday meal. With each ham, we delivered a little share of Christ's love in our community.
For our global neighbors, Outreach sent a gift of $500 to the Ukraine refugees. The Episcopal Relief and Development organization ensured the funds reached those in need. Additionally, I was overjoyed to see so many supplemental gifts from our parish. The announcement in the weekly circular will continue to run with directions to help you get involved and assist the war refugees.
The people of Ukraine and Russia have weighed heavily on my mind these past few weeks. In Matthew 5:44 we are instructed to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. This has always been a difficult ask for me. Yet, I am often reminded through our church business that in God's eyes, we are all his children. We are all broken in some ways, and we all deserve a chance to repent our mistakes. Outreach, at its very core, supports this mission. We reach out to all our neighbors, no matter how broken, and share the love we have come to know in God and Jesus Christ. Where there has been violence and tragedy, we spread kindness and nourishment. While it may not be easy, I ask you all to keep both the Ukrainian and Russian people in your prayers. May God bless us all with the strength to love and forgive our neighbors in the spirit of peace and renewal.