I’ve been in a placement all term and I love it.
My parish is a warm and welcoming place – much like a big family. They have embraced me (and Matthew whenever he can be spared from his placement) and already made me feel a part of the community in the three short months I’ve been there.
Part of it being a wonderful place is the love and care that they give to everyone in the congregation. Earlier this fall, a long-time central member of the church was diagnosed with cancer. Immediately we went to work, knitting. Around the table at parish council a prayer shawl was passed. Each of us with any skill with knitting needles knit a few rows, then passed it along to the next person. The love and the care of the congregation was knit into that shawl along with their prayers. Each section slightly different, all of the unique gifts of the congregation coming together to make one beautiful garment.
I was blessed, as a relative newcomer to the parish, to be able to add a few rows myself. I know the legacy this woman has had on the church and I have heard stories of how central she is to the community and I was honoured to be able to add my own part to our shared gift.
When it was finally completed, we brought the shawl into church and laid it on the prayer desk in the centre of the choir. As each person came up for communion they paused, laid hands on the shawl, and prayed – some just for a moment and others lingered. Sitting at the front, I was moved to tears by the love, care, and faith shown by everyone.
We blessed the shawl at the end of the service and then it went off to bring our prayers and blessings to our family member in hospital.
This is the body of Christ at work.