The other day I was privileged to have a tour of the Eastwood Salvation Army Citadel and was impressed with what they have to offer, particularly in the way of outreach to the community around them. The pastors there are Captains Stephen and Erika White. They are a dynamic young couple who come from the greatest of places, Newfoundland!
In touring the church I was introduced to a program that I did not know existed in this community. The church has a Neighbourhood Services Center, which serves as a connector to the community around it. One of their valuable programs is the Diaper and Formula Program. I asked the Good Captains what the program provides. Stephen White tells us that “This program has proved to be a positive ministry in that it helps families, single parents, and most importantly infant children during times of financial crisis. We are able to provide these citizens with formula and diapers to assist them, helping them provide for their young children and get through hard times.”
It is a program that receives funding from The United Way, and it has seen its funding reduced of late. And yet, the demand on the program seems higher than ever. I immediately felt that indeed God calls us to respond to these needs. To that end I have declared April 20th at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake to be…(Drum roll please)…SIMILAC SUNDAY! [Note: I have no allegiance to Similac over any other brand….it just goes well with the word Sunday!]
At Church tomorrow you will find a bulletin insert with the following details;
St. Mark’s by-the-Lake
& Eastwood Salvation Army Citadel are teaming up.
Together we invite you to make a difference
in the lives of young families.
Eastwood sponsors a program that provides formula for
babies in families of great need.
The program is in a state of need and
they are struggling to keep their cupboard stocked.
HOW WE CAN HELP WITH THIS?
1. GIVE TO A JOINT RESPONSE
The Average Cost for a can of Formula is near $20. We have envelopes available in the form of a ‘LOVE OFFERING’ (They are at the back of the Church) in which
you can donate as many cans as you would like to. The Church will purchase in bulk as much as we can with what you give.
2. PURCHASE FORMULA
If you are out shopping and you see a can of formula on sale [OF ANY BRAND] pick it up and bring it in on or before April 20th.
Please consider donating to this project.
As Community we can make a difference.
I leave you with these words of Jesus of Nazareth from Matthew’s Gospel chapter 25 as paraphrased in “The Message”
34-36 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
37-40 Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’
[BY THE WAY — IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO OF LATE – YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT THE PARISH WEB PAGE AT www.stmarkschurch.net TO SEE VIDEOS AND PHOTOS OF HOLY WEEK. IF YOU WERE HERE CHANCES ARE YOU ARE FEATURED IN THERE SOMEWHERE]