You are the Light of the World!
As we try to absorb the shocking and deeply distressing images that came out of our US Capitol yesterday, and when fear and divisiveness threaten to tear the very fabric of our country, we, as Christians, are called to pray to our Lord and Savior, who choose to dwell within and among us.
We live in hope and courage together as a faithful community at St. Mary’s! The Light we witnessed at Christmas in the manger is in our hearts. We share the light, we see it in each other's faces, it’s what keeps us going when times seem especially tough. The light breaks through in our prayers, in the ways we share peace with each other, in our acts of generosity, and in concern for each other and our neighbors. The light that we testify to and celebrate in the season of Epiphany is revealed and manifested in our community. As the Prologue of the Gospel of John proclaims:
What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:3b-5)
I want to share recent moments of light that I have seen revealed at St. Mary's and say thank you for being the light of Christ in our community in a real and tangible way in 2020! May the Son of God, be manifest in each of us, and may our lives and ministry at St. Mary’s continue be a witness to the Light to the world in 2021!
Head Start Green Cove : St Mary’s spearheaded Christmas giving for 45 children at the Head Start program, collaborating with Christ Church Ponte Vedra and First Presbyterian in Green Cove. All 45 children received an outfit, new shoes and a toy. Many thanks to Nina W., Nancy P, Beth M, D’Anna W and Cindy T. Imagine the impact these gifts of light and love had on the children and their families this Christmas.
Episcopal Children Services :Many of you participated in providing three Head Start families gifts that made for a very special Christmas! They supplied their “list” and you supplied love, light and abounding generosity. Their heartfelt thanks you’s are on the table as you walk into the parish hall. Jane J, Molly W. , Nancy P and Dan J continue to embody Christ's ministry to families in the Green Cove community each year.
Food Pantry: This December, parishioners donated over 54 tons of food to the food pantry. Also, St. Mary’s served as the distribution site for the Food Pantry Christmas baskets. Sherry H, Joyce H, Andi G, Connie A., Karen and Bob T and many others give their time in feeding God’s people.
Vineyards Transitional Center :Through the new Breaking Bread Clergy Alliance, St. Mary’s supported the work done on behalf of the homeless in the Green Cove Springs. We donated 10 backpacks for homeless in the area this December. With the help of Tom S we helped raise over $5,000 for the new homeless shelter.