Somewhere in Midlothian today, a car broke down, a glass shattered, a house caught on fire, someone died suddenly, someone went for alcoholism rehabilitation, a child was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, a computer's entire data base was lost, someone declared bankruptcy---all in a day somewhere in Midlothian, VA - oh, and probably more than just these things.
When these things happen especially to us - our first impulse is to go into fix it or hide from it mode. We don't want to acknowledge that it ever happened. We try to gloss over the difficulty and stay positive. Always stay positive! Even when the truth of it all is, its not positive. This methodology can lead us, ironically, into destructive and potentially dangerous habits. When we tend towards Pollyanna-ism, what we are doing is placing ourselves in a state of denial or outright delusion. We say, no!, I will not see this as it really is! And, we miss the process: we miss the process of healing. We miss the process of learning. We miss Resurrection. We miss part of the essence of our journey in faith.
Of course, we need to sweep up the glass and get the car running again. But if thats all we do, we will never learn how the car broke down or the glass got broken. Well never see how leaving the stove on and walking away is not a good idea. Well stop drinking for a few weeks or months, but never address our alcoholism.
And, theres something else well avoid like the plague. In ignoring and denying the places in our lives where we are broken, we will also avoid any opportunity to use the experiences of our foibles to help others in their journeys of similar experience. We will miss our opportunities for blessing.
Our blessings are found through our interrelatedness- our connections- our ability to relate to each other. When I share my brokenness with you (not for you to fix me or in a needy sort of way), you can find someone who understands as others will not.
It is in our brokenness, our vulnerability, that we as a people can relate to each other. It is not, nor will it ever be, through how perfectly put together we appear. So, let us not rush to quick fixes and band-aid approaches that deny us true healing and blessing.
The body of Christ was broken for us that we might find healing and wholeness that we might be one forever with God. As Christs disciples, we are called to follow Jesus. We are called to offer our brokenness in the healing of others- and so find blessing as well.
Your Sister in Christ,
As your Micah representative and volunteer coordinator for the Micah Initiative, I would like to give you a report for the 2017-2018 school year.
Founded in 2003, the Micah Initiative is an association of faith communities in Metropolitan Richmond committed to working with the teachers and staff of Richmond Public Schools. Currently, there are approximately 130 churches and 1600 volunteers. We, at St. Matthias, sponsor John B. Cary Elementary School. At present we have 16 wonderful volunteers; some assist in the classroom, some mentor a student, and others tutor on a one-to-one basis.
In conjunction with Area 10 City Church, Second Baptist, and Saint Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox, we started off the year with a welcome breakfast for teachers and staff.
In the Fall here at St. Matthias there was a "tree with red apples" in the Commons. Each apple named a specific need that teachers desired. Thanks to the generosity of our members, the drive was highly successful.
For Christmas, every child received a book provided by our volunteers. We outfitted the Spanish teacher's classroom with supplies. The Art teacher requested and received sketch pads for all the students. We helped provide treats for students on Dr. Seuss Day and lemon treats for the reading of a book Lemonade Wars which was read city-wide in all Richmond Elementary Schools. We helped the fifth-grade class take a field trip to Luray Caverns by contributing money. The school nurse was provided with extra clothing in case of student emergencies. We also provided money towards putting new carpet in the Teachers' Lounge. Finally, we ended this year when we hosted a Teacher's Appreciation luncheon for teachers and staff.
All in all, it has been a terrific year. We could not have done all this without the generous support of the congregation through the Outreach Program. We are looking for more volunteers so come September, please think about joining us.
Many of us will be away during the upcoming summer weeks, enjoying time with family and friends. However, those who are struggling to feed their families, continue to need our help.
Summer breaks give our food pantry ministry a number of challenges.
Because many who bring food donations every Sunday to restock our pantry shelves are away at various times during the summer, the shelves can become empty very quickly.
Here are some suggestions of how you can help:
1) If you plan to away on Sunday, consider bringing an extra item of non-perishable food before you leave. Ideas are protein items, like pasta, pasta sauce, boxed macaroni and cheese, canned tuna, fruit or vegetables and healthy cereals.
2) Even if you are not away, consider adding an extra item to your usual donation to make up for the summer shortfall.
3) Do you have 2 hours/month to volunteer in the pantry? Could that possibly be a calling for you? There are lots of opportunities Monday - Thursday each week. Many of our dedicated volunteers will be taking vacation time in the next few months, as well.
We will continue to assist families from Carver and Greenfield during the summer, and plans are being developed to help children in need that are in the Chesterfield County Summer School program at Midlothian Middle School this year.
Added to that are families in our own community who are in need of help with food. As always, on behalf of all the families we continue to serve, a heartfelt thank you for your continuing support of the Food Pantry here at St. Matthias. We couldn’t do what we do without your help......and the faithfulness of many wonderful volunteers.
If you are interested in being involved with the Food Pantry ministry, please contact:
We are the “Hands and Feet of Christ”
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