Dear Friends,

Last week I shared some thoughts on one of our parish values, Community, and how that value is expressed through parish activities.  Today, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to consider another of our values. Service: We are committed to service both to the (wider) community and to the parish.    

Service is something that is carried out both through the institution of the church and also through our individual members as they live out their faith in their daily lives.  But, of course, it is individual parishioners, and others, who carry out the church’s outreach projects: the food pantry, I-Help dinners, Christmas and Easter food boxes, support of St. Patrick’s School in Haiti, Christmas presents for children in Marina, the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.

There is now an incipient I-Help for Homeless women.  Did you know that there are two women over 90 who are among Monterey County’s homeless?!  At this time All Saints’ does not have enough members to take on a monthly commitment for that project, but through Joining Hands Benefit Shop, begun by our own Nancy Jones and Nancy Collins and now an interfaith project, funds are made available to various county housing programs. So, as you shop for Christmas go by Joining Hands in the Barnyard Shopping Center. You may find some real treasures and help people at the same time.

On Dec 3rd, Christmas food boxes are being prepared by parishioners and Boy Scouts for families who are struggling.  9:00 a.m. in the Parish Hall.  Your help is needed. Just show up!

Food bags continue to be given out by our office volunteers.   Food that doesn’t require cooking, like tuna, and cans that can be opened without can openers is needed.  Place your contribution in the basket at the back of the church.  The ushers will bring up our offerings to be blessed at the Offertory.

We plan to have an old fashioned Christmas Bazaar during the evening of the Dickensian Dinner. The proceeds of the sale of craft items will go to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.  We need your contributions of crafts to sell.  Bring your items to the church office between the 1st and 11th of December.  And come to the Dickensian!  Sign up in the office or back of church.

We have so many parishioners who are home bound or find it difficult to get to church.  Can you go just a little out of your way to pick someone up on Sunday morning?  (No training necessary!)  Another really important service project is that of Eucharistic Visitor.  Are you willing to make home visits once in a while?  The training is not onerous. Your efforts will make a big difference in an elderly person’s life.

As Jesus said, Whatever we do for the least among us, we do for Him.

In Christ,

Claudia Ward, Senior Warden
All Saints’ Episcopal Church