My Dear Friends,
One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young girl who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one. Puzzled, the man looked at the girl and asked what she was doing. Without looking up from her task, the girl simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir”. The old man chuckled aloud, “There are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?” The girl picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one!”
It’s an old tale and maybe you have heard it before, but this is what I was thinking about as I considered the special projects that our St. Michael community tackled for Lent. We are a small congregation and perhaps we only made a small difference. But it was a difference to a few.
Our food pantry gave baskets of food and a couple of hams to the Women’s Shelter. The paper pantry loaded up a trunk full of goods for the American Indian Services. We donated $200 to the Diocese of Jerusalem for the Good Friday special collection. And our coin collection for the Episcopal Relief and Development brought in $418.90 to provide a goat, two pigs, and a flock of chickens to support some families who otherwise would be without a regular source of food.
The total of our offerings might not amount to what a larger church could do. But I know this is what Jesus was teaching when he asked us “Do you love me?” and then said “Feed my sheep.” Our duty as his followers is to love the Christ in our midst and to tend to their needs. And you did in all the ways you were able!
This month we have a unique opportunity to learn from those we assist. The American Indian Services is sponsoring the Standing Rock Photo Exhibition and Native American Art Show. The opening reception is on Sunday May 26 from 1 to 5 p.m. I hope you will be able to join me as Levi Rickert, from the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, tells the Story of Standing Rock and the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. The exhibit will continue until June 4 at the Downriver Council for the Arts on 81 Chestnut, Wyandotte.
The prayer of St. Francis reminds us that “it is in giving that we receive.” These gifts that are given so freely from your hands have a way of finding their way back to us with more blessings that we could ever ask for or imagine! God loves you for your generosity; and so do I!