Beneath the hubbub of a modern parish church, a silent flow of care binds church members together in a ministry so natural it goes largely unnoticed. That ministry is the simple art of visiting.
Sometimes this ministry takes the form of a phone call to someone we haven’t seen for awhile, sometimes as a text or an email. Sometimes it means a drive to a seniors’ home or to someone shut in by illness. Every week, the altar flowers go to someone in need, or to someone who might be encouraged merely by being noticed. Every week, the clergy meet to coordinate their visits to those in need, or to those who have asked for our care.
A few years ago, when Clara King left us, we wondered how all the pastoral visiting would get done with only one priest on staff. But then it dawned on us that it would get done the way it always gets done—by church members caring for one another. So we surveyed how many such visitors there were, and we asked them simply to report in about how the person they visited was doing, and whether a visit from the clergy might be useful.
Jesus said that God’s people would be identified at the end of time as those who visited the sick, fed the hungry, clothed the naked—those who cared for one another. Two thousand years later it’s still true: we are a community grounded in care, and therefore in visiting.
St. Stephen’s Anglican Church Music Director, Jeffrey Jones produces amazing results by combining joyful voices, handbells, piano, organ and a variety of musical instruments.
Professional actor, Maureen Jones, brings the language of the nine lessons to life.
This really is the most wonderful time of year – all are welcome to join us in celebration of the Advent season with our annual Carol Service. This is a free event; people may choose to make a donation as they leave.
The refugee family we are sponsoring has now experienced a taste of Canadian winter! Walking on ice is taking some adjustment but they remain positive and open to new experiences. They really enjoyed attending their first live hockey game as part of a birthday celebration last month. We hope to plan skating, tobogganing and cross-country skiing outings with them once winter returns. Both adults continue to dedicate themselves to their full time English studies which are going very well. On his own initiative, last month Khalil started part-time weekend work at a restaurant.
There are some significant expenses on the horizon for the New Year, most notably urgent dental work for which we’ve been told there is no IRCC health plan funding. This has been a common experience for many Syrian refugees and their sponsors. Your ongoing donations to help cover such extraordinary costs are appreciated.
NeST is always happy to welcome new team members, and the family is open and eager to make social connections to practice their English and build vocabulary. Contact Barb Driftmier if you’d like to be a part of the adventure either as a team member or making a more casual connection with the family.