The Canon Rector’s Message:
Soon it is going to be the holiday time of the year. For most of us, it is an occasion of joy. Huge dinners and parties from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, family celebrations, office parties all pave the way for New Year’s resolutions to take off the unwanted holiday pounds. For most of us, this is a time of counting our blessings and rejoicing that we have made it through another year.
But not for us all. Some of us will go to bed hungry this and every night. Estimates are that one in every seven persons struggles with hunger, relying on food banks. Many of those are children. You cannot necessarily see hunger. According to a recent article from National Geographic many of the hungry (now designated the “food insecure”) live such places that give the appearance of decent income, such as the suburbs. We don’t have suburbs in Wellsboro, but we have working poor—people who works two jobs and still don’t have enough income to make a living wage.
Most of us will complain about the winter cold, and the heating bills that come with it. I will complain about it because it seems that I am always cold, especially my hands. Sometimes it is to the point of wearing gloves with half fingers at the office while I type. I could turn up the thermostat, run hot water over my fingers, or pour another steaming cup of hot coffee. For me, this is an inconvenience. For others it is not. There is no study that I was able to find to cite the how many people make ends meet by freezing in their own homes.
Part of what we do when we count our blessings is that we give thanks for what we have received. We are asked to have hearts moved to a sense of gratitude for the blessings that we have received. But I always thought that part of having a grateful heart was to try to make the world a better place. Part of gratitude for what we have is to show that gratitude for those who have not. That was the main point of Jesus’ parable of the kingdom in Matthew Chapter 25.
Do I think it is wrong to celebrate? Of course not! But I do think that in the midst of our merriment of the season, it is right and good that we remember those who are in need and want.
Please participate as you are able in the outreach that Saint Pau’s engages this season:
The Discretionary Fund
Support for the Food Pantry
The Giving Tree
Outreach for Keener Court
The Shippensburg Home